Selma Stad Cultural Centre

Vibrancy, beauty and creativity typify Göteborg's emerging Selma Stad district. Taking centre stage is a unique mixed-use civic building; a municipal headquarters and cultural centre in one, that invites collaboration between the local authority and citizens.

A new cultural landmark

At present, the neighbourhood is known as Backa. This whole district is currently undergoing major redevelopment; this new civic building and town square will be a focal point for the emerging Selma Stad district. The mixed-use building takes the form of a three-dimensional theatrical stage with façades that resemble enormous billowing curtains; an inviting forum that celebrates creativity.

By incorporating diversity into the building programme, it opens up possibilities for out-of-hours use. This makes for a civic hub that actively contributes to the city, strengthening social cohesion.

Client: Göteborgslokaler / City of Göteborg
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Status: Completed 2019
Photo: Åke E:son Lindman

In addition to municipal offices, the building programme includes a library, theatre, café and restaurant, meeting rooms, media rooms, dance and music halls. Combining a cultural programme with municipal administration in the same building was an interesting challenge for the design team; flexible spaces were designed to accommodate the shared programme.

We wanted to create a positive friction, where people can run into each other and where serendipitous meetings become possible – dancers next to theatre folk, side-by-side with the city’s politicians.
Mattias Lind, Lead Architect

The square takes its name from Selma Lagerlöf, the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature.

The exterior of Selma Cultural Centre showcases the hive of activity within. By treating all façades with the same focus and attention to detail, there is neither a front entrance nor back entrance; and in regards to programme, there is no visible hierarchy in terms of which can be seen from the exterior. Exterior façades are cast from raw corrugated concrete that contrasts with warm copper-toned metal details, inside and out. Inside, an exposed concrete frame, visible precast concrete walls and ceiling components and elegant polished concrete floors create a blank canvas for creativity. A glass-roofed atrium runs through the structure, covering light-filled meeting areas, with the main staircase and the traversing foot bridges contained within a concrete shell

Selma Cultural Centre is an apt demonstration by our interior design team that it is possible to transition towards a more circular economy. When you need to fill 6,200 square metres with 92 % recycled furniture and materials, it challenges both the way of working and your creativity. The spaces will be multi-functional with the ability to rearrange furnishings depending on activity; at one moment theatre rehearsals can occupy a space and awhile later, a political meeting.


The design concept is based on reused furniture, most of which is pre-owned by the city. Furniture elements will be refurbished and re-designed into compositions incorporating several different types of material.

Contact & Team

Mattias Lind

Mattias Lind



[email protected]

+46 31 60 86 51

Mattias Lind Lead Architect
Annie Leonsson Lead Interior Architect
Lars Zackrisson
Jessica Kos
Christian Wahlström
Linn Roldin
Daniel Stenqvist
Theresa Kjellberg
Jacob Lundqvist
Jacob Nilsson
Samuel Michaëlsson
Britta Wikholm
Kristoffer Jonsson