Vibrant, creative and beautiful characterise Selma City, the new district in Gothenburg. At the heart is White’s mixed-use municipal building formed like a three-dimensional theatrical stage with façades that whimsically resemble an enormous billowing curtain. The building provides an inviting forum for creativity inspiring collaborations between the citizens, the municipality and the city’s cultural offerings.
Designing with a human perspective was the aim when creating the new district Selma City, a joint venture for the development of a major city square in Gothenburg. The square gets its name from Selma Lagerlöf, the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. Lively, inspiring and welcoming, Selma City’s new municipal building will exemplify these qualities where “activity is the building’s ornamentation”. The building’s programme includes a library, theatre, café and restaurant, multi-purpose and meeting rooms, media rooms, dance and music halls and Norra Hisingen’s office of the municipality.
With a consistent and conceptual architecture, the building will become a welcoming new landmark for culture. The building’s exterior showcases the house’s plethora of activities. By treating all façades with the same focus and attention to detail, there is neither a front entrance nor back entrance; and in regards to programme, there is no visible hierarchy in terms of which can be seen from the exterior. Coherency strengthens its identity and the connection between the interior and exterior through a consistency in material palette and design principles.
Exterior façades are constructed in raw corrugated concrete which contrasts the stretches of warm copper-toned metal details used in both the exterior and interior. The building’s interior continues the exterior material palette with an exposed concrete frame, visible precast concrete walls and ceiling components and elegant polished concrete floors. Concrete, with its intrinsic robustness, gives the house a durability yet a strong but quiet character and backdrop where creativity can thrive and stand out.
The glass-roofed atrium of the municipal building runs centrally through the structure and houses light-filled meeting areas, the main staircase and the traversing foot bridges contained within a concrete shell – the space will no doubt become the true cultural pulse of the neighbourhood.