Sweden now has a wooden skyscraper
It is one of the world’s tallest structures of this kind
Skelleftea is a community located in northern Sweden, only about 200 kilometers from the Arctic Circle. Home to 33,000 people, it is a typical city for the area, it is until last month when the Sara Culture Center opened its doors there. The center is one of the tallest timber buildings in the world, standing 75 meters high and towering over the surrounding landscape, it can even be described as a small skyscraper.
Local materials and a carbon-neutral future
Given that northern Sweden is home to large forests and a thriving timber industry, it only makes sense to build buildings from this easily accessible, organic and cheap material. In fact, it was only until the latter that was mostly the case in Scandinavia, and we are beginning to notice a trend to return to the architectural roots.
Sara Cultural Center, designed by white architects, houses places for art, performances and meetings, as well as a hotel.
“It did not start as a 20-storey house in Skelleftea, it started with a strategy that basically means that Skellefteå not only wanted to survive but develop, “ said Skellefteå City Planning Manager Therese Kreisel, quoted by ArcticToday.
Kreisel said the building was built of 12,200 cubic meters of wood from trees harvested within a 60-kilometer radius of the city.
The cultural center, which occupies the lower four levels of the building, is built with pillars and beams of glued laminated wood and without the use of concrete. The cement industry currently accounts for about 7 percent of global carbon emissions, according to the International Energy Agency.
The building also houses six theater stages, the city library, two art galleries, a conference center, restaurants and a 205-room hotel with views of the surrounding city.
In addition to being one of the world’s tallest wooden buildings and a meeting place for the city’s residents, the building’s energy system tries to be as carbon neutral as possible.
The building is equipped with solar panels, batteries and a heat pump that works with electricity, water and district heating. The sprinkler system, which in most buildings is usually powered by diesel, is also powered by renewable energy.
Excess energy from the building is passed on to other parts of the city or stored in the cultural center’s batteries on site.