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Wooden Heart

White Arkitekter, which has fifteen offices across Scandinavia and the UK, has won an international design competition for Swedish city Skellefteå’s cultural centre and hotel,( ’Kulturhus i Skellefteå’), which will be completed in 2019. Located just below the Arctic Circle in northern Sweden, Skellefteå has a long tradition of timber architecture, which inspired White’s winning proposal ‘Sida vid sida’ (Side-by-side). The design was selected from over 55 entries from ten countries and will be the tallest timber framed building in the Nordic region.

Skellefteå is one of Sweden's leading ‘wooden cities’, both from the viewpoint of its age-old traditions and its driving power in the development of modern wood construction technology. Industry-leading research and development, combined with close proximity to the late-maturing, high-quality timber of the forests of Västerbotten, have given Skellefteå's wood construction businesses a strong position in the industry.

Kulturhus i Skellefteå will be a 19-storey structure reaching a height of 76 metres, and will house the ‘Västerbottensteatern’ (the county theatre of Västerbotten), the Anna Nordlander Museum, Skellefteå’s Konsthall (art gallery), the city library and a new 16-floor four-star hotel.

“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.

The 24,940 square metre building will be timber framed with a glass envelope and has been designed to allow flexibility of use, with retractable walls for rooms to be expanded or divided to serve a range of functions, from a small exhibition to expansive conference facilities.

Find out more about Skellefteå’s timber construction heritage: here...

Kulturhus i Skellefteå images: White Arkitekter