This competition entry for Skellefteå Kulturhus, a new cultural center and hotel in northern Sweden, is comprised of several interlocking building volumes.
Titled Supergroup, the scheme gathers several cultural institutions - a theatre, two art galleries, a library, a conference center and a hotel - as a set of individual buildings grouped on top of a low podium. In this way, each institution retains some of its independent identity, while simultaneously allowing for productive adjacencies with neighbouring institutions. On the exterior, each building mass acquires its own character based on color, proportions, and planar rotation. The interior is characterized by a short span glulam timber structure with densely arrayed columns that emphasise 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. The project’s us of coloration reflects traditional use of luminous, coloured plaster on facades in Skellefteå, and its glulam timber structure explores the opportunities offered by local expertise and industrial processing of timber.