Dynamic, translucent façades at Flekkefjord Cultural Centre in Norway

The new Flekkefjord cultural centre is situated on the waterfront of Flekkefjord, a town in Southern Norway. The project, designed by the Helen & Hard architectural firm, covers an area of 3,100 m2, distributed over three floors. It incorporates a library, a cinema, a concert hall, a cultural school, leisure club and administration. The main objective was to combine various cultural functions in the most compact and efficient way, while creating spaces that facilitate synergies, multi-use and attractive areas for exchanges and meetings. The project is part of a national strategy to strengthen the cultural capital in small and medium Norwegian cities.

Another important challenge in designing the building was the adaptation of its scale and materiality to the existing surroundings, using traditional construction methods based on white wood claddings. This was achieved by maintaining the height in keeping with the neighbouring buildings, and with a roof geometry shaped and adjusted to different contextual situations.

WICONA façades adding maximum translucence to the building
The main façade opens onto a large public square with a reception area reaching over all three floors. The translucent skin of the façade was created with more than 200 m2 of WICONA WICTEC 50 curtain wall, connecting the interior and exterior space and eliminating as much as possible the visual barriers to the square. The sides of the building have smaller openings which relate to the typical façade rhythms of the area, clad with white wood panels.

The WICONA WICTEC 50 curtain wall has achieved the Bronze level in the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Product Standard. The C2C Product Certification presupposes a paradigm shift in thinking about how a product is designed, what’s in it, and where it goes after use. It is a guidance system for product designers and manufacturers, that leads to the creation of products which redefine quality, aesthetics and innovation. In order to achieve one of the five levels of certification (from Basic up to Platinum), a product must satisfy the minimum requirements of the relevant level in all five categories. These categories are: Material health, material reutilization, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, social fairness and biodiversity.

A large stairwell, constituting a prominent interior and exterior element, guides the audience from the main entrance to all the public functions in the higher floors. At larger events, the stairs also help to distribute the audience to different levels from the lower foyer, without appearing to be empty during smaller events.

At night, the stairs and ceiling of the foyer visually transform the communication areas into one big space connecting to the public square outside. This spatial continuity is accentuated by the design of the stepped ceiling, which folds down to form the back wall of the foyer, linking to the large frontal stairwell in a similar red colour, and by the lighting strips along the façade. The cantilevering roof structure over the foyer is made of glued laminated wooden beams, while the rest of the walls in the public areas are made in concrete clad with birch plywood.

Project: Flekkefjord Cultural Centre
Location: Norway
Architectural firm: Helen & Hard AS
Façades by: Hubro Hansen AS
Wicona solutions used: WICTEC 50 façades, WICSTYLE 65ED and WICSTYLE 65N automatic sliding doors.
Photos: Jiri Havran.

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