Skellefteå Cultural Centre breaks ground

The work on Skellefteå Cultural Centre, which has garnered worldwide attention and won prizes even before it has been built, commenced on October 20. The centre is expected to open in spring 2020.

We sat down with Maria Orvesten, architect at White, to discuss the project as it breaks ground. Maria has worked on the project for some time now and Skellefteå just happens to be her hometown.


How does it feel now the project breaks ground?

– Fun and grand. It feels great that our work will start taking physical shape.


What makes this project special?

– There are many reasons for this project being special. It is a tall wood construction, which brings many challenges which White will be among the first in the industry to find a solution for. The fact that Skellefteå, which has a strong wood building tradition, is taking wood construction into an new era is also special. It is happening in my hometown, which of course makes it speical to me. The programme with its hotel, theatre, library and art gallery will generate synergies , which is exciting both for Skellefteå as a city and for the individual residen.

Skellefteå, 'the city of wood', is ushering wood construction into a new era.

What’s it like working on a project that is getting a lot of attention even before it’s been built?

– The interest in the project is huge! Mainly from an architectural perspective, but is is apparent that there is a great interest in wood constrcution. We get asked questions about the project both in Sweden and abroad. The people of Skellefteå feel pride, a lovely feeling that is transferred to everyone working on the project.


What do you see looking forward?

– A lot of intensive work… But with great pleasure!


Skellefteå Cultural Centre is the city’s new meeting place for art, performance and literature alongside a hotel in what is to become the world’s tallest wood building. It combines Skellefteå’s wood heritage with innovative engineering, making the project a role model in sustainable design and construction.

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