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Building Information Modeling/ Virtual Design & Construction
Wisby Strand offers wonderful views out over the sea. It was Gotland municipality and Region Gotland that gave Skanska the task of building a congress and event center, which was inaugurated in 2007.
Wisby Strand was named the Nordic region’s most inspiring meeting place at the TUR trade show in 2010. We take that as proof that we succeeded in our task of creating an attractive facility.
The soft, flowing building with the large copper roof is situated adjacent to the sea in central Visby. The actual entrance faces towards Almedalen, and immediately adjacent is the popular bar and restaurant Kallbadhuset. Wisby Strand is an important meeting place during Almedal Week.
The goal with Wisby Strand was to extend the season and offer a year-round meeting place for conferences. That possibility did not exist previously on Gotland, since there were no facilities that could hold so many people.
The congress hall has room for 1,100 people, and the kitchen is able to serve 1,000 seated guests. In addition, there are also 14 smaller conference rooms.
The project received an EU grant since it promotes employment on the island through the new visitors that the facility attracts. We used a significant amount of local labor, which created job opportunities during the actual construction process as well.
Marknadssegment: Conference facilities
Having Wisby Strand means Gotland will be able to attract congresses and conference participants year-round. The project received EU funding since Gotland is an island. At the TUR trade show in 2010, Wisby Strand was named the Nordic region’s most inspiring meeting place.
Previously there were no facilities on the island that were able to accommodate large groups. The idea was to extend the season, which has been a success. More meetings held on Gotland means more year-round employment, not only for the conference facility, but also for stores, cafes, craftsmen and more.
Wisby Strand created employment opportunities during the actual construction process as well:
“On Gotland it is important to work with local suppliers and subcontractors. It is important to generate employment on the island,” explains Håkan Isfalk, who is project manager for Wisby Strand.
“We are very proud to have built Wisby Strand. It is a fantastic building situated in an incredibly beautiful location. I think that those who worked on the project look back fondly on their experience. I believe that the Gotland employees at Skanska are extra proud since this place has generated so much attention.”
We bring in cooling water through a 500-meter long pipe from the sea, which helps to cool the building during the warm season. That is one way of saving energy. Another way to save energy is to acquire labor and some of the materials from the island, which results in reduced transportation.
Since the building is situated by the sea and is just a stone’s throw away from the harbor, we were able to use boat transports for material deliveries of the building’s heavy steel framework. That was not only more efficient, it was also better for the environment.
The congress and event facility Wisby Strand was inaugurated in 2007 after a two-year construction process. Skanska received the task to build Wisby Strand from Gotland municipality and Region Gotland. Skanska served as the project’s general contractor.
The project received an EU grant from a fund for islands. That was one of the prerequisites for making Wisby Strand a reality.
Wisby Strand is an incredibly pleasant building in an unbelievably beautiful location. A large glass façade faces out towards the sea and in the evening, conference guests can watch the evening sun slowly sink towards the sea’s edge on the horizon. A large and beautiful copper roof harmonizes with the soft flowing form of the building. Gotland limestone was used throughout the building.
“The building’s two ends are at different heights, which works well esthetically on this site. It was the architectural firm Lund & Valentin from Gothenburg that designed Wisby Strand. Just inside the entryway are large mingling spaces and coatrooms. One level up is a large parquet hall and the entrance to the large congress hall with room for 1,100. It is a large hall with a stage and modern technology. The kitchen can handle meals for up to 1,000 seated guests. There are also several smaller conference areas.
Wisby Strand was a joint venture project between two districts: Norrköping/Gotland and Kalmar. Early on we found a collaborative style that worked and that cooperation across district boundaries went smoothly.
One of the requirements for payout of the EU grant was that the project be completed according to schedule. Over the course of the construction period, new conditions and changes developed. Under normal circumstances, those changes would have meant that we pushed back the timetable, but that was not possible in this instance.
We were forced to work faster and devote additional resources in order to reach completion in time. When the project was in its most intense stages, it was difficult to find enough suppliers and subcontractors on Gotland.
Our talented production manager stayed closely on top of safety issues. Among other things, there were attendance checks, in other words, employees were required to check in at the office before going out to the worksite.
“While that might seem like an obvious thing, that is not the case everywhere. Especially not five years ago,” says Håkan Isfalk.
“The biggest safety challenge was to get workers from Latvia to follow our rules. They were there to install the framework and it was difficult for them to adapt to our rules when it came to personal protective gear and the like, but it worked out.”
• Room for 1,100 in the large congress hall • 14 conference rooms