Swedish firm White Arkitekter just won a bid to design the tallest wooden building in Sweden, and possibly of all the Nordic countries. The architecture firm’s 19-story “Sida vid sida” (“Side-by-side”) proposal beat out over 55 other entries in an international design competition for Kulturhus i Skellefteå, a mixed-use cultural center and hotel. The choice of timber references Skellefteå’s local timber industry and will be built using hybrid prefabricated construction techniques with wood, steel, and concrete.
Located just below the Arctic Circle, the city of Skellefteå is surrounded by dense forests and renowned for its wooden buildings and timber construction techniques that range from traditional methods to modern technology. The 76-meter-tall Kulturhus i Skellefteå celebrates that heritage and will be built of locally sourced wood treated to withstand the harsh elements. The building’s lower, publicly accessible levels will be home to “Västerbottensteatern,” the county theater of Västerbotten; the City Library; the Anna Nordlander Museum; and “Konsthall,” Skellefteå’s art gallery. A hotel will occupy the top sixteen floors.
“A cultural centre in Skellefteå just has to be built using wood!” Said Oskar Norelius, lead architect at White. “We’re paying homage to the region’s rich tradition and we’re hoping to collaborate with the local timber industry. Together we will create a beautiful venue, open for everyone, which will both have a contemporary expression and age with grace.” The tower will be built with prefabricated glue-laminated timber modules reinforced with concrete slabs and steel trusses. Glazing will wrap around the building to offer stunning views of the landscape. The building will also be topped with a green roof and integrated with bicycle and pedestrian pathways. The building is slated for completion by 2019.
Images via White Arkitekter