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.
Focus on safety
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.”
The project in figures
• Room for 1,100 in the large congress hall
• 14 conference rooms