White Arkitekter has been announced as the winners of an international design competition for a hotel and cultural center in the city of Skellefteå, Sweden. Selected from over 55 entries from ten countries, the winning proposal "Sida vid sida" (Side-by-side) calls for a 19-story timber structure containing a concert hall, museum, art gallery, city library and a four-star hotel. The new building will be the tallest wood-framed building in the Nordic region.
Referencing the region’s rich history of timber architecture, the 24,940 square meter building will be constructed of a glue-laminated timber frame, strengthened with steel trusses and enclosed with a glass envelope, allowing the structure to be seen from the street. Spaces have been designed for maximum flexibility, featuring retractable walls that expand or divide rooms to serve a range of functions.
“We want to engage the wider public, not only arts lovers, and the building’s transparency offers passersby the opportunity to witness behind-the-scenes work, such as an exhibition or new stage set coming together”, says Lead Architect Robert Schmitz
The building's generous height will offer views of the forested countryside and will be topped with a green roof providing thermal insulation, sound insulation, biodiversity and rain water absorption. City life will be brought into the building with an open ground floor and multiple entrances connecting to future bicycle and pedestrian routes, giving Skellefteå residents a cultural hub that is easily accessible.
“We’re very proud to have the opportunity to create a new home for the visual arts, theatre and literature. It’s when these different disciplines meet that the magic happens”, says Oskar Norelius, Lead Architect, White Arkitekter.
Construction is set to begin in 2017.