Timberrrrrr!

White Arkitekter wins bid to design tallest timber tower in Nordic nations

Architecture International
A night rendering of Kulturhus i Skellefteå (Courtesy White Arkitekter)
A night rendering of Kulturhus i Skellefteå (Courtesy White Arkitekter)

Out of 55 entries in an international design competition for a mixed-use cultural center and hotel, Swedish firm White Arkitekter’s 19-story “Sida vid sida” (“Side-by-side”) design won the bid, according to a press release from the firm.

When built, the Kulturhus i Skellefteå will be the tallest timber tower in the Nordic countries. The city of Skellefteå, Sweden, is surrounded by forests which will provide the wood for the construction. The city has a reputation for its abundance of timber and its applications, both in buildings and building techniques.

The tower will be the tallest timber tower in the Nordic countries at approximately 250 feet (76 meters). (Courtesy White Arkitekter)

The tower will be the tallest timber tower in the Nordic countries at approximately 250 feet (76 meters). (Courtesy White Arkitekter)

One of the lead architects, Oskar Norelius, stated, “A cultural centre in Skellefteå just has to be built with wood! We’re paying homage to the region’s rich tradition and we’re hoping to collaborate with the local timber industry. Together we will create a beautiful venue, open for everyone, which will both have a contemporary expression and timeless quality,” according to the press release.

The tower will be built with prefabricated glue-laminated timber modules reinforced with concrete slabs and steel trusses. The facade will be fully glazed while interior retractable walls will allow for versatile rooms.

The construction will consist of prefabricated glue-laminated timber modules reinforced with concrete slabs and steel trusses (Courtesy White Arkitekter)

The construction will consist of prefabricated glue-laminated timber modules reinforced with concrete slabs and steel trusses. (Courtesy White Arkitekter)

A green roof will top the building, “providing thermal insulation, sound insulation, biodiversity and rain water absorption.” The county theater, city library, Anna Nordlander Museum, and Skellefteå’s art gallery will be located on the lower floors of the building, accessible to the public.

The tower will be designed to withstand the harsh elements (Courtesy White Arkitekter)

The tower will be designed to withstand the harsh elements. (Courtesy White Arkitekter)

The top sixteen floors will comprise the building’s hotel. White Arkitekter is working with structural engineering firm Dipl.-Ing. Florian Kosche AS (DIFK) for construction detailing and specifications. Completion of building is slated for 2019.

The building's glazing will be reveal the timber framing. (Courtesy White Arkitekter)

The building’s glazing will be reveal the timber framing. (Courtesy White Arkitekter)

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