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White Arkitekter: www.white.se
Väven: weaving together a new cultural experience for the people of Umeå
White and Snøhetta’s Kasper Salin Prize-winning culture house in Umeå, Sweden, is a new concept in cultural buildings.
The concept of weaving is reflected throughout – it is even named Väven, Swedish for ‘weave’. This weaving is apparent not only in the cultural aspects of the building, but also in its many different functions such as hotel, conference center, black-box theatre, museum, library and more.
Weaving also influenced the building’s access points – there are no grand entrances or exits, instead Väven is accessible from three different levels to ensure continuity of its seemingly never-ending array of experiences. Umeå residents helped shape the building’s concept, requesting a centre that would allow participation in both spontaneous and planned activities.
The design takes its cue from this mesh of cultural activities and functions, wrapping them up in a series of reflective glass ribbons woven together to form the façade. The façade is inspired by the city’s signature birch trees – the white bark resembling the opaque cladding during the daytime hours, while at night the warm interior light gives off the same illusion.
Väven forms part of a larger masterplan, the City between the Bridges, which aims to create a cultural area along the river Ume. White has been entrusted with this masterplan for over a decade, and creating Sweden’s second largest cultural centre, in collaboration with Snøhetta, the client, local businesses and the people of the city, has been the jewel in its crown.
Architects: White and Snøhetta
Location: Umeå, Sweden
Surface: 25,000 Sqm
Project Team: Maria Olsson, Lennart Sjögren, Åsa Haremst, Marianne Rutberg, Agne Revellé, Mirja Westling, August Edwards, Marie-France Stendahl, Malin Ericson, Maeva Chardon, Albin Holmgren, Jonas Westman, Anna-Carin Dahlberg, Katarina Rasmusson, Johanna Larsson, Anna von Gegerfelt, Pernilla Engberg, Mats Holmberg
Katharina Björlin Wiklund, Jan Anundi, Gunnar Stomrud
Client/Contractor: Umeå Municipality and Balticgruppen AB
Photography: Åke E:son Lindman