Sara Cultural Centre wins WAF Awards 2022 Completed Buildings, Culture category

The 15th edition of World Architecture Festival (WAF) is underway and tonight Sara Cultural Centre won the WAF Award in the category Completed Buildings: Culture, after competing against 16 other impressive finalists from all over the globe.

With its 20 storeys and rich content, Sara Cultural Centre has put Skellefteå on the world map and become an international beacon for sustainable architecture. The carbon-negative* building topped The Guardian’s list of 2021’s best architecture and has also been recognised by the New European Bauhaus initiative as a project that inspires positive change all around us.

Photo: Jonas Westling

Today the project was named winner in the category Completed Builings: Culture at the 2022 WAF Awards, which is the world’s largest festival and live awards competition dedicated to celebrating and sharing architectural excellence from across the globe. As Sara Cultural Centre was named the winner in its category, the project is also competing for the ultimate accolade World Building of the Year.


We are honoured to receive this award for the most outstanding cultural building of the year in competition with great projects from all over the world. Sara Cultural Centre demonstrates the power of culture to create an attractive and inclusive city centre, and how innovative architectural thinking can create new opportunities for collaboration and creativity. This building is on a new scale for Skellefteå, yet it is born out of the city's identity, knowledge and tradition with a focus on wood as a building material.
Oskar Norelius and Robert Schmitz, Lead Architects at White Arkitekter

– We are very proud of the project, where we have worked in a new way with wood that characterises the culture building both externally and internally, while at the same time making the 20-storey high massive wooden building visible, said Oskar Norelius and Robert Schmitz.

Photo: Åke E:son Lindman

*Carbon-negative in terms of embodied carbon and operational energy are less than the carbon sequestration in wood. Please find the carbon budget for the building here.

Contact Person

Robert Schmitz

Robert Schmitz

Architect, Office management


+46 8 402 26 52

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