A Naturum visitor centre is now established at Sweden’s most westerly outpost. It is located at Ekenäs on the island of South Koster, overlooking the recently established Kosterhavet National Park. The commission is the result of an architectural competition and was inaugurated in December 2012.
Over the years, White has won several of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s architectural competitions concerning visitor centres for national parks, nature reserves, biosphere areas and world heritage sites in Sweden.
The building houses exhibition areas for telling the national park’s story, lecture theatres, and premises for the national park’s administrative staff.
Great care has been taken to ensure that the building fits in with the small-scale, coastal buildings of the fishing village of Ekenäs. With its smooth Falun red timber-panelled façade, the building picks up on the purposeful, clean lines of the coastal boathouses and storehouses. The roof is also clad in red timber panelling, giving the building a uniform volume. The roof is formed using diagonal roof ridges which gives the building its own personality in relation to the older buildings in the archipelago.
The roof’s “pleated” form also makes an impression on the interior. The surfaces are made of white-pigmented timber and the exhibition filling the building is going to be designed to ensure that the beautiful but inaccessible world beneath the surface of the water is made accessible to the visitors.
The feature that distinguishes this commission from others is that many skills have been brought together to work closely within an efficient, creative process, with the aim of giving the local population and politicians a sense of involvement and a feeling of close local connection.
- Client: The County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland, Swedish Environmental Protection Agency
- Project Start/End: 2006-2012
- Completed: 2012
- Area/Size: 650 m²
- City: Sydkoster
- Photographer/Illustrator: Åke E:son Lindman
- Mattias Lind
- Ulla Antonsson
- Agne Revellé
- Magnus Bunner
- Magnus Nellström
- Mathias Nilsson
- Anders Åkeflo
- Anna Graaf
- Karin Sjödin
- Andreas Laessker
- Pär Andréasson