“THE BUILDING BOLDLY shows its local roots through its wooden character, with the wood giving the building a distinct identity.” This is how the jury for the architectural competition to design Skellefteå’s new cultural centre describes the winning entry, Sida vid sida by White Arkitekter. The building will house a library, theatre, art gallery, general meeting places and a hotel. Around 15 practices entered the competition, with the winning entry making use of glulam beams for its load-bearing structure. The other dominant feature of the building is the large expanses of glass, which make the wooden frame visible from all sides.
The building will stand in the centre of Skellefteå, on a site currently given over to a car park and a travel centre. Wood will also be widely used in the interior, not least as the defining material for the Cultural Steps, the focal point of an open space that connects the various activities within the building. The steps will be used as an open stage and a public arena where the people of Skellefteå can come together. A rooftop atrium planted with trees will create an additional meeting place higher up in the building.«