The Skellefteå Kulturhus competition provided a critical opportunity to shape the cultural landscape of Skellefteå in northern Sweden, and the brief elicited a range of exciting responses. Stockholm-based architecture studio Norell/Rodhe have now unveiled their entry, titled "Supergroup."
Their proposal features a colorful composition of interlocking building volumes which reference the traditional use of luminous, colored plaster facades in the local area. The masses retain their own function and qualities but form a lively community when grouped together.
Norell/Rodhe’s entry gathers several cultural institutions - a theater, two art galleries, a library, a conference center and a hotel - as a set of individual buildings grouped on top of a low podium. This way, each institution retains some of its independent identity, while simultaneously allowing for productive adjacencies with neighboring institutions. On the exterior, each building mass acquires its own character based on color, proportions, and planar rotation.
Alongside the colorful links to Skellefteå's building stock, the project also links back to the town through a specialist glulam timber structure. The industrial processing of timber and associated local expertise is here utilized to create a contextually relevant and structurally expressive building. The glulam timber features prominently in the interior, where a short-span structure and densely arrayed columns help to emphasize the direction of each building.
Shared and communal spaces are created in the podium as well as in intersections between building volumes. In this way, the interior becomes a dense urban condition with junctions, piazzas and landmarks – a city without streets consisting solely of tightly packed architecture - said Norell/Rodhe in their press release.
The scheme was developed in response to an open, anonymous competition run by Skellefteå Municipality, which was won by White Arkitekter. The second place winning entry was from a team of young Danish architects. For more information, the competition brief can be viewed in full at Sveriges Arkitekter.
Design TeamDaniel Norell, Einar Rodhe, Aron Fidjeland
Structural EngineerRaphael Le Gall and John Möller, Sweco
News via Norell/Rodhe.