Designed to gather the city’s cultural functions under one roof, the winning proposal by schmidt hammer lassen architects for the new cultural centre and library in Karlshamn, Sweden will be the city’s new meeting place. The 5,000 square metre cultural centre will get a sculptural and flexible building containing a library, an exhibition area, a cinema, a tourist office and a café, which together work to embrace diversity. More images and architects’ description after the break.
The building is situated on Östra Piren between the industrial harbour, the local folk high school, the city and the beautiful Swedish skerries. The facade and roof are designed to meet the scale and sight lines of the surroundings hereby creating a distinctive shape. The main access to the Cultural Centre and Library will be from the square at Östra Piren. A large glass facade ensures visual contact between the inside of the building and the surroundings. Visitors will be able to get an overview of the whole cultural centre from the information square and the atrium in the centre of the building.
The different functions are carefully situated to create synergy while ensuring open, flexible and accessible spaces that invite visitors to interact, be curious and create. The facade of the building is clad with robust wooden lamellas to minimize solar gain while allowing visual contact with the inside of the building. During winter, the warm light from the building will appear inviting to visitors. In the summer, a long bench, stretching the length of the facade, will invite passers-by to sit down or engage in activities around the cultural centre.
“Through a poetic interpretation of the surroundings we have created a meeting place, which will be a striking visual focal point that connects the city to the landscape and the water,” stated Ms Trine Berthold, associate partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects. She continued: “The meeting place is defined by a sculptural, folded roof made of wood that gathers activities and visitors in the building under one roof – which is both the motto and the main concept of our design.”
“The New Culture Centre and Library in Karlshamn is a library of the future, which is accessible, diverse and flexible. It is an example of a reinterpretation of the Nordic architectural tradition with a focus on the human scale, the Nordic light and the use of robust materials,” explained Mr Kim Holst Jensen, partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects
Architects: schmidt hammer lassen architects
Location: Karlshamn, Sweden
Engineer: Buro Happold
Landscape Architect: SLA
Client: Karlshamn Municipality, Sweden
Competition: 2013, 1st prize in a restricted international competition
Area: 5,000 m2