Vidhave in Visby

Client: Vidhave
Location: Snäckgärdet, north of Visby, Gotland
Project: 60 houses á 50 sqm and more to come
Assignment Years: 2021–2023 and ongoing
Photographer: Jens Hjelte, Vidhave

A modern twist on the rustic historic architecture of Gotland. This sums up the new holiday village of Vidhave, located near Snäck Camping, just outside Visby. We believe that buildings should last for centuries – which is why they are built in solid wood on a recycled concrete slab and recover heat. And the closest neighbor? The sea.

The buildings are situated with an ever-present view of the water.

The first 22-home holiday village is now complete and more are underway. Like a traditional fishing village in Gotland, the cottages follow the natural topography. As a result, the natural setting was spared an excavation process. The smooth-planed spruce panels are treated with iron vitriol, allowing the cottages to meld in with the scenery even more. Glass panels inside frame the view, which opens up to the sea and the sunset to the west.

The buildings have been placed with careful consideration for the topography. It also features visible stormwater management as an architectural component.
The old mare pines live on and continue to give Vidhave and the area its classic Gotland character.

Year-round homes

“We’ve chosen to give care to the location,” says Jens Hjelte, co-owner of Vidhave, the new destination emerging on the site of the former Snäck Camping. “So we’re taking things one step at a time, which allows us to adapt to how people use the area. We can be bold and learn as we go.”

The destination is just a few kilometers from the Visby City Wall. The buildings are equipped for year-round living and it will soon be possible to welcome groups of up to 400 conference guests.

We can be bold and learn as we go

Sustainability has been important throughout the project – environmentally, economically and socially,” says Stefan Rydin, Tengbom’s lead architect for this client. “We have considered the environment in our inclusion of solar cells, water reuse and our choice of wood construction for the buildings. In terms of economic and social sustainability, we’ve opted for local labor and we’re contributing to a thriving Gotland in wintertime, too.”

Generating its own water

Inside, we’ve used egg oil tempera paint in soft colors and custom-built furniture. A fireplace lends to the atmosphere when summer is over. Local concrete was used on the floor and polished up for a beautiful, easy-to-manage finish. But the natural aesthetic is harmoniously paired with modern technology. Gotland’s limited access to water has made the issue a particular focus. The buildings have recirculating showers from Swedish company Orbital that analyze, clean and recirculate the water. In addition, the buildings are equipped for future alternative solutions for non-potable water.

Shortcuts for everyone

Islanders and tourists alike enjoy strolling through this area, and they will continue to do so.

“We wanted to maintain the site’s availability to everyone moving forward,” says Jens Hjelte. “So we designed shortcuts through the area. By making it possible to walk straight through the village instead of using nearby paths, we avoid the exclusionary feeling that some holiday facilities have.”

Proximity to the water, sandy beaches and a beach club are all elements of the project. This is a unique place for Gotland.

The team behind this project


Stefan Rydin Business Developer