Bergsjön Cultural Centre is a new place to meet in Gothenburg that puts the focus on social sustainability and integration. Here, residents are encouraged to get creative through a range of activities centring on culture. The architecture is imaginative and playful, and connects with its surroundings in inspiring ways. Large areas of exterior glazing open up the building and allow the creative interior to interact with the outdoor environment. The exterior glazing and aluminium doors for the project were supplied by SAPA through GlasLindberg Fasad AB.
There has long been a desire for a cultural centre in the Bergsjön district of Gothenburg to provide a place where everyone can meet. After several years of waiting and investigations, the project finally received the go-ahead in 2013. The cultural centre was completed in autumn 2022 and it now houses everything from workshops and a library to a music studio and café.
A basket filled with culture
The cultural centre is part of the Programme Bergsjön investment package and reflects the programme’s focus on “social sustainability and integration”. To choose the architects who would be entrusted with realising the project, the City Planning Authority launched an architecture competition that was eventually won by the “Basket of Culture” submission from Sweco Architects. The brief was to design a sustainable cultural centre that is practical but at the same time has strong architectural appeal.
“Our work was guided by the ideas of playfulness, curiosity and joy of discovery. We envisioned the character of the cultural centre as a colourful and welcoming living room that enriches lives and respects its surroundings in a thoughtful and playful way. The cultural centre is like a basket for culture that brightens up everyday life. It is a basket that gathers and nurtures cultural expression in a real and symbolic sense,” says Margareta Diedrichs, lead architect at Sweco.
The design for Bergsjön Cultural Centre won the 2017 award in the Future Projects – Culture category at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) in Berlin, clearly underlining the need for urban cultural centres that are creative and inspiring.
A welcoming and creative space for everyone
Bergsjön Cultural Centre has a total area of almost 3,000 square metres spread over three storeys. The space bubbles with playfulness and creativity. The centre welcomes young and old alike and is filled with activities that can be carried out individually or in groups. There are workshops, a library, group study rooms, ceramics and music studios, a café, exhibition hall and a superb stage for performances of music, dance and theatre. There is also space for movie screenings and a party venue for up to 150 people. In other words the centre offers a great range of creative opportunities.
“Right from the competition stage we worked in a team with diverse skills, which was vital to accommodate the varied needs. Because Bergsjön Cultural Centre is not just a building; it is a place to meet, to spend time, to socialise and to enjoy creative activities. Now that the cultural centre is complete and open to the public it feels very special and joyful to us,” says Margareta Diedrichs.
Bergsjön Cultural Centre is one of three Higab projects that are part of Gothenburg’s 400th anniversary initiatives. Higab acted as building contractor for Bergsjön Cultural Centre, and the 400th anniversary celebrations put special emphasis on the desire to create attractive and inspiring places to meet in Gothenburg.
Glazed exterior reflects openness
Sapa supplied the exterior glazing and doors for Bergsjön Cultural Centre with the help of GlasLindberg Fasad AB. Magnus Johansson from GlasLindberg recalls installing the large entrance in particular:
“The large entrance panels are Sapa Facade 4150 structural glazing elements that are joined without any external profiles. It turned out really well and looks great,” says Magnus.
The choice of large glazed exterior walls has successfully given Bergsjön Cultural Centre a sense of being open and welcoming. The generous glazed areas allow the inside and outside to interact, and the colourful palette used for the aluminium profiles creates a playful impression. From the library area, visitors can also enjoy the view from the glazed bays that project from the building. These bays, constructed from glass and aluminium profiles, allow ample daylight to flood into the building, energizing visitors inside the centre.