White designs a new public living room for the city of Växjö

With its proposal “Under one roof” White Arkitekter won the design competition for a new station and City Hall in the southern Swedish city of Växjö. As the motto suggests, the building gathers several functions in one volume and connects the city’s different parts. This new ‘living room’ is open, welcoming everyone from teenage girls and senior citizens to municipal employees and visitors. The building also creates a new silhouette in the city.

Växjö stads- och stationshus
One of the entrances to Växjö’s new station and City Hall building (Image: Tegmark)

In an anonymous competition with five international teams, White was the jury’s unanimous choice. The jury stated:

“The proposal presents a coherent and characterful building with a strong expression, a new silhouette and a new landmark for Växjö … The building has three main entrances that connect well to the city’s structure. The entrances intertwine elegantly in the interior, creating ‘Växjö’s living room’, a beautiful vertical wooden room that connects all the building’s different levels … Overall, the winning proposal is an elaborate building which is able to meet Växjö’s requirements and intentions of a sustainable future throughout.”

– We are extremely proud to design a building for the future in “Europe’s greenest city.” We have placed the public living room in the centre of both City Hall and the station, creating a space that unites travellers, visitors to City Hall and local residents under one roof, says Klara Frosterud, Lead Architect at White.

The 14,000 m2 wooden structure will be a new focal point in the middle of the city. A meeting place with a tourist office, exhibition area, waiting room, cafés and shops, meeting rooms for various occasions and a modern workplace for municipal employees.

Växjö station and city hall
Växjö’s new living room, a beautiful atrium which lets in natural light and connects all the floors in the new station and City Hall building (Image: Tegmark)

A series of public spaces, including a new park, a square and a wooden bridge with a green roof, connect the building to its direct surroundings and the city. Inside, the station and City Hall are linked together by a wide staircase, designed as a meeting place where visitors can sit down and experience the city. The building’s various functions are organised around “Växjö’s living room”, a new public meeting place for citizens, visitors and employees.

Växjö station and city hall
A new bridge over the railway connects the new building with the museum park (Image: Tegmark)

– Växjö’s identity is reflected in our choice of materials; glass and wood, and in the smart and sustainable technical solutions. Our goal has been to create a building at the forefront of development in sustainable construction as well as to achieve the highest Swedish environment certification. People are placed at the heart of this building which will be socially, economically and ecologically sustainable over time, says Klara Frosterud.

The compact volume is strategically adapted to the city scale. Towards the north and east the volume is considered as a two story building with a large sloping roof. The sloping roof reduces the building’s envelope and ensures lower energy consumption throughout the building’s life. The design minimises the use of building materials and waste, leading to reduced environmental impact and a faster construction process. The project sees White continue its successful collaboration with Oslo-based structural engineering company Florian Kosche, which specialises in wooden structures.

Växjö station and city hall
The city hall staircase leading from the station to the City Hall reception is also a meeting place where visitors can experience the city (Image: White)

Växjö station and city hall
A new public meeting place in the heart of Växjö connecting the station and City Hall to the public realm (Image: White)

Press contact:
Rickard Andersson, Communications Officer
+46 72 173 30 72

Download hi-res images here.

About White Arkitekter
White Arkitekter was founded by Sidney White in 1951 and is Scandinavia’s leading architectural firm with over 900 employees working in 16 offices in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the UK. Our work is research focused and our expertise encompasses architecture, urban design, landscape architecture and interior design. For nearly two decades, White has invested in establishing a unique research-based organisation of highly qualified experts in the field of sustainable design. Our founder’s aim was to improve society through architecture and his legacy lives on in our ambition to contribute towards the building of a sustainable world.