Sjöparken, a sanctuary of understated luxury immersed in the embrace of nature, invites you on an extraordinary retreat. Drawing inspiration from the elegance of Nordic simplicity, the timeless traditions of Japanese design, and the tropical allure of resort living, this architectural gem emerges as a unique hybrid – a harmonious blend of distinct influences that converge seamlessly within its walls.


Halland, Sweden


Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen





Nestled in the serene beech forests of Halland, Sweden, the new Sjöparken redefines the essence of tranquility and luxury. With an architectural vision to create the ideal setting for intimate rituals of self-care and harmonious living amidst nature’s embrace, these lakefront retreats exude an honest simplicity without sacrificing warmth and tactility.

At the heart of the concept are seven villas, perched delicately on the lake. Each villa seamlessly intertwines four hotel rooms through glass corridors, offering a poignant homage to the site’s history by creating the sensation of strolling through an open-air village. The intentional design masterfully blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces, amplifying the intimate connection with the surroundings.

Whether taking a refreshing dip in the private bathing jetties nestled in the lake, unwinding in the in-room saunas, or indulging in the tranquility of lying in bed and gazing through expansive windows, each moment unveils an unparalleled communion with nature.
As integrated architectural elements and bespoke design optimize space, the minimal, peaceful rooms create a framework for immersive experiences, focusing on stillness, togetherness, and well-being.

Expanding on our initial collaboration with the Michelin-starred restaurant ÄNG, Sjöparken seamlessly augments the offerings of Ästad Vingård by extending the hotel. It’s a venture that transcends mere functionality, delving into an exploration of how the location can evolve through a collaborative effort between Ästad and Norm Architects. Consequently, Sjöparken stands as a benchmark, representing the convergence of aesthetic values and a harmonious expression as various elements of the estate align and come together in unity.

Each corner tells a story of simplicity, unity, and the spirit of the place, creating an unparalleled experience where thoughtful design and nature come together in perfect harmony.

It’s not merely about constructing a building; it’s about crafting an experience that resonates with the soul of Ästad Vingård.

Sjöparken sets itself apart by fostering a direct and immersive connection with its natural surroundings – an ethos that permeates every facet of its design. This emphasis on connectivity is not just a design choice; it’s a testament to the genius loci of the place embedded in both the architecture and interior spaces.

The seamless interplay between the interior and exterior spaces extends beyond mere aesthetics, shaping how the space is utilized. Hence, the connection to the surrounding nature is not a mere afterthought but a guiding principle that has influenced architectural and design decisions alike. The way that sunlight filters through the rooms, the choice of materials that mirror the natural elements, and the fluidity of movement within the hotel – all are intentional gestures, a manifestation of the belief that architecture can be a bridge between the man-made and the organic.

The project is all about balance. We wanted to create something that could stand out and be spectacular in the most understated and natural way possible. A project that seems like the most natural thing for this place and at the same time as something otherworldly and unique.

– Norm Architects

Sjöparken contributes to making Ästad Vingård a place for both relaxation and exploration. Often, our guests desire to leave the city buzz to spend some quiet and peaceful time together. Sjöparken responds to this need but combines it with a unique expression that can inspire and invigorate their stay.

– Daniel Carlsson, Ästad Vingaard

The architecture is a masterful dance of subtlety, seamlessly blending into the local building traditions. Wooden cladding and green roofs pay homage to the region’s architectural heritage, creating a visual harmony that resonates with the surroundings. In essence, the villas beckon those seeking an escape into nature’s embrace, where architecture becomes a conduit for a harmonious coexistence between luxurious living and the untouched beauty of the Swedish landscape.

Uninterrupted views of the tranquil lake are omnipresent as the villas form a floating village; each unit graced with a private pool discreetly hidden beneath the surface of the lake. Working with this clear connection to the water and the natural surroundings, the architecture instinctively makes you feel at ease. There is something calming about both the sound of water and the reflection of light on water. Even the scents of the lake and its biophilic life, creates a special experience. It’s a luxurious and comfortable experience, complemented with visual and tactile moments that appeal to the senses and well-being of the guests, from the abundant use of raw natural materials to the elegant ways of filtering light through lamellas, louvers, textiles, and skylights.

On the inside, everything from the walls adorned with warm tones from oakwood cladding, the intricate texture of soft textiles, and the sensory allure of natural stone and ceramics is likewise intricately linked to the earth, the adjacent forest, and the rippling waters that surround the exclusive villas.

In each room, a seamless division between the lounge area and bedroom is achieved with strategically placed wooden louvers, striking a balance between transparency and privacy, while also transforming filtered light into enchanting wall art, eliminating the need for additional decor. This way of filtering daylight adds a magical touch, resulting in rooms that evolve and captivate throughout the day. Whether the light reflects off the dolomite plaster ceilings or the wooden cladding, the atmosphere undergoes a mesmerizing transformation. The interplay of light, creating dynamic triangles or softly filtering through the natural fibres of draping, ensures each experience is uniquely varied.

The lighting scenarios of artificial light sources to compliment daylight are also crucial for the atmosphere and comfort. In a collaborative effort with Anker&Co, we have ensured a calm ambiance where the illumination seemingly disappears – we didn’t want to create anything too dramatic to compete with the breathtaking nature outside. Instead, the soft lighting accentuates the tactile nature of the space.

Enveloped in the rich embrace of oak wood, the design cultivates a tranquil atmosphere, purposefully creating a profound connection with the natural surroundings. The comforting ambiance extends beyond visual delight, offering guests the warmth of tactile surfaces and the serenity of thoughtful spatial divisions. Every aspect underscores the commitment to well-being and a seamless integration with the soothing essence of nature.

Given the compact size of the rooms, doors are concealed to maintain a sleek appearance. Only the handles are visible, with doors to the wardrobe, sauna, cabinet, and bathroom discreetly integrated into the design.

The material palette is crafted to interact harmoniously with the ever-changing Swedish nature just beyond the windows. Rather than competing with the external landscape, it serves as a balanced foundation, offering warmth and coolness, softness and hardness, tactility and smoothness. Adapting to the changing weather and seasons, it serves to enhance the overall sensory experience.

The intimate sauna, enveloped entirely in wood with an oven seamlessly integrated into the floor and positioned at the water’s edge, crafts a unique experience — a cocoon of comfort. Transitioning from the sauna to the lake and back to the bathroom becomes a deliberate journey, a design-induced shift from the cozy warmth of wood to the serene embrace of a darker stone realm. This transformation is akin to the art of chiaro-scuro, as you move from the illuminated wood interior into the shadowy cave of stone, enlightened only by a sacred skylight in the shower, extending the space into the sky. The design delicately engages the human senses, creating a soft yet dramatic experience.

The small village of humble wooden villas on the lake draws on many different sources of architectural inspiration – from simple fishing huts on a lake with a wooden pier to the well-known glass corridors at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

The style of the architecture is distinctively Nordic, but there are also elements of transitional spaces like the column-lined walkways between each house, the louvered elements, and the wooden deck, that are translations of elements in traditional Japanese architecture. Fused with the water villa typology from tropical resorts, this enclave of luxurious hotel rooms become a completely new hybrid with its own new character.