Sara Cultural Centre Wins International Award for Wood Architecture

At the International Forum for Wood Construction in Nancy, Sara Cultural Centre was named the winner of the International Award for Wood Architecture. The annual award aims to reward the achievement of excellence carried out in the wood architecture industry.

With its 20 stories, Sara Cultural Centre is not only Skellefteå’s new landmark – it is also one of the world’s tallest wooden buildings that has attracted a lot of attention around the world for its sustainable design. This evening, the project, designed by White Arkitekter, received the International Award for Wood Architecture 2022 by the international press specialized in wood architecture.

We are very honored to receive this award whose aim is to stimulate the development of innovative architectural thinking using wood. Sara Cultural Centre draws attention because it is unusually tall and made of a lot of wood. But at the same time, it is a very local project, sprung from the community.
Oskar Norelius and Robert Schmitz, Lead Architects

Skellefteå has a long tradition of timber construction and a local timber industry, but many wood houses disappeared when the city centre was modernised. By combining the local timber tradition with innovative technology and engineering, the city’s wood heritage is now being brought into a new era. The main goal when designing Sara Cultural Centre was to point out the possibilities of using wood as a construction material for complex high-rise buildings to minimise the industry’s carbon footprint.

In the context of the construction industry’s net zero transition, we have shown with Sara Cultural Centre that it is possible to build sustainably and climate-neutral even on a large scale and without compromising on aesthetics. So, there are no reasons to ignore sustainable solutions.
Oskar Norelius and Robert Schmitz

– The award is proof that here in Sweden we are capable of producing large and sustainable buildings in wood with architecture of outstanding international quality. Rising to 20 storeys, Sara Cultural Centre is the world’s tallest wooden building in terms of floors and evidence of the expertise that the Swedish wood industry possesses. The accolade shows that we have made huge advances in wood construction in Sweden, says Alexander Nyberg, who is responsible for the Nordic region’s biggest architecture magazine Trä! and a jury member for the International Award for Wood Architecture.

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