The robustly spatial, well-articulated structure defines and clarifies a complex situation. The transport hub has been reimagined as a worthy entrance to the city of Umeå. Placing the structure in the middle has divided the broad thoroughfare into two well-proportioned street spaces with clear flows and simple navigation.
The structure of the building embraces the different scales of the site, with its cross-section articulating and switching between the scale of the city, through its height and span, the scale of the buses and a human scale.
The sturdy glulam beams expand outwards and define the site through the repeated stacking of identical wooden elements. There is something mystical about its appearance – solid but with a balanced lightness of touch. Natural light filters through the wooden frame down to the core of the structure, where passengers can sit and wait in close contact with the wood. The place takes on an identity all of its own in the interplay between person and wood.
Architect Wingårdh Arkitektkontor AB, senior architect; Gert Wingårdh, project manager and architect; Anna Söderberg
Building contractors Skanska Structural engineer Hans Lindberg, WSP Bygg- projektering, WSP Sverige AB.
Year built 2017
A word from the architect The building’s structure forms the backbone of its aesthetics. The transverse walls made of wood-panelled concrete bear four layers of beams on which the glass roof sits. The principle is timeless. The design is based on wood’s enduring ability to be used as both pillars and beams. The two roofs combined are 160 metres long and 10 metres wide. The load-bearing glulam beams come together to form a grid creating varying light play, as they provide no protection against rain and snow. The wood structure starts slightly above the base. The wood is untreated, which means that it will age in the same way as any other rain-protected timber in Västerbotten, that is, grey or darker depending on the situation.
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