In June 2015, Skellefteå City Council decided to build a cultural center. In November 2015, an open architectural com- petition was announced, which generated 55 submitted and approved proposals. Oskar Norelius and Robert Schmitz from White Arkitektur, won the competition with their contribution, ”Side by side”. Construction began in October 2018.
With its 20 floors and height of almost 80 meters, Sara kulturhus is one of the world’s tallest wooden houses. Only Mjöstårnet in Brumunddal, north of Oslo, is higher at 85 meters. The building consists of a low-rise section of four floors and a tower that rises a further 16 floors. The cultural center section covers an area of approximately 13,500 m2, while the hotel, with its 205 rooms, covers approximately 11,000 m2. In the hotel section there are also three restaurants, a café, gym, spa, and meeting areas of approximately 500 m2.
Materials and construction
The lower part, which houses the cultural center itself, consists of cross-laminated prefabricated wood (CLT) rein- forced with concrete that distributes the weight of the tower. The hotel part is built of prefabricated wooden room modules, fitted between elevator cores of CLT, and clad in glass that reflects the sky and gives the impression that the tower floats above the cultural center. The technology regarding the wooden construction is innovative and will, when everything is in place, hopefully contribute to the future development of modern wooden buildings.
Approximately 10,000 cubic meters of cross-laminated timber and 2,200 cubic meters of glulam were used in the buil- ding’s frame. This material was produced by Holmen/Martinsons in Bygdsiljum, south of Skellefteå. The wooden hotel modules have been delivered by Derome Group’s factory in Renholmen north of Skellefteå. The design company TK Botnia is responsible for the frame design. The general contractor for the project is the Norwegian contractor HENT.
The name Sara kulturhus
The name is inspired by Sara Lidman, who was born and raised in Missenträsk outside Jörn in Skellefteå municipality. The vision for Sara kulturhus is ”a cultural center that dares” and should be described in the same way that Sara Lidman herself was described: ”sparkling and annoying”.
Arts organizations in Sara kulturhus
Sara kulturhus accommodates Västerbottensteatern, Museum Anna Nordlander, Skellefteå Art Gallery and Skellefteå City Library.
Location in Skellefteå
Sara kulturhus is in the center of Skellefteå, between Torget and a planned travel center. It occupies a block bordered by Trädgårdsgatan, Kanalgatan, Torggatan and Södra Järnvägsgatan.