A golden crown of copper alloy defines a new cultural centre

A golden crown of copper alloy produced by one of the world’s leading copper specialists, Aurubis, defines the new cultural centre in the Swedish town of Landvetter.



he building program consists of spaces for cultural activities such as music, dance and drama classes, a public library and an auditorium for 150 people. Designed by Fredblad Arkitekter, the new culture centre is intended as an urban hub for the community. There is always something going on in the building and that activity is clearly visible from the outside as you approach it.

The project was conceived as a generously glazed, simple white box, crowned by a recessed volume clad in Nordic Royal golden copper alloy and set behind a roof garden. The white rendered base of the building brightens the space around it. Then, for the top floor, the architects needed a colourful and reflective material that would emphasise the angled facade and roof form.

Quality material

The architects felt that “a culture centre should draw attention, be festive and daring in its appearance, but it must also fit in and be a natural part of its context”. Their choice of Nordic Royal had symbolic as well as architectural and practical reasons. They viewed copper and its alloys as high-end, quality materials with a certain civic status and presence, offering a good contrast to the simpler materials used for the interiors and also referencing musical instruments made of brass.

Nordic Royal is an innovative alloy of copper with aluminium and zinc, giving a rich golden through-colour that is very stable. The surface retains its golden colour and simply loses some of its sheen as the oxide layer thickens with exposure to the atmosphere, resulting in a protective matt finish. It behaves differently to other copper products over time and does not develop a blue or green patina.

Open atrium

Internally, the plan form revolves around a large open atrium that connects the three floors. This space features large skylights that allow natural light to flow in and also houses the building’s vertical communications, as well as providing relaxed public space for social interaction.

The walls are clad with plywood in the same shade as the copper alloy and some interior detailing is in brass, also referencing the exterior copper alloy. The light golden colour glows in the natural light from the skylights. A gigantic staircase leads upwards and offers seating for visitors to the building. When all floors are open, the stair functions as seating space for the cafe.

The library is by far the most public part of the building, with an exhibition space in its entrance hall, then information desk and children’s library following. The library is basically a large open space, furnished with different functions that can be moved around for future flexibility. The culture school on the first floor is an exciting and playful place with many different things going on. The central communication room offers several different experiences including a meeting place for both students and teachers from the music rooms around, an enclosed space with views outwards and into the dance hall and also a small youth library by the atrium.

Rooftop terrace

When there is a concert on the building’s top floor, visitors continue up the stairs and arrive in a bright foyer with large windows facing the evening sun. The rooftop terrace offers a fantastic view of Landvetter town centre. The auditorium has extensive glazing that can be covered if necessary. The floor plan generates a separate backstage area with storage, facilitating movement of props, musical instruments and so on from the lift directly to the auditorium.

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