Winning the competition for a new knowledge & culture center in Falkenberg, Sweden

FOJAB is the winner of Falkenberg municipality's competition for a new knowledge and cultural center, which includes a new city library, a new high school and a proposal for a city plan for the development of the entire block. The assignment was to place and design a new building that will form a central hub for knowledge and culture based on the given program and the conditions of the block. The project will be an important gathering place for the city's residents, both old and young. The new knowledge and culture center is scheduled for completion in 2018.

The proposal includes a library with separate sections for children and adults, premises for the upper secondary school's theoretical programs, school health care, a café with outdoor seating, a stage for happenings, music, culture and creativity, a reception and an auditorium with room for 150 people. The Knowledge and Culture Center is the upper secondary school's common meeting place and cohesive hub on the campus. The proposal for the development of the entire block also includes 20,000 m² of housing, a sports hall, a parking garage and, last but certainly not least, a new centrally located city park.

Strategic location

The building is strategically located between Stortorget and the new city park and creates a natural meeting place for Falkenberg residents, municipal associations, cultural activities and businesses.

- "We envision a neighborhood that will be a natural gathering point for all Falkenberg residents, regardless of whether you are a student at the high school, want to visit the library, use the auditorium, have a coffee in the café, live nearby or just want to hang out in the park," says Charlotte Kristensson, commissioned architect and studio manager for knowledge environments at FOJAB.

Jury statement

The jury highlights the winning proposal's way of connecting the new building to Stortorget and the city center, as well as a thorough analysis of the school's program and a consistently strong architectural design. From the jury's motivation: "Utsikt-insikt is a beautiful building with a strong identity. The precise order of the block and its relationship to the city center stylishly reinforces the city's structure and suite of squares and plazas. This approach can form a standard for further densification of the city. The design and expression of the building connects in a contemporary way to other public buildings in Falkenberg. The principle order of the building gives confidence that the building will be functional and usable."

Key questions

The FOJAB competition team took an early position on some key issues which then provided the framework for the final design of the proposal:

  • That the new building is located close to Stortorget and has its main entrance clearly advertised towards the city center.
  • To create a new urban park by placing new building rights on the outer edges of the block.
  • That the total program area of the school can be reduced by making the existing building more efficient, which contributes to lower operating costs.
  • To create a continuous foyer that links all activities all the way from the main entrance to Falkhallen.

The design of the main building consists of several composite volumes that reflect its content, a strong brick building that has a clear character of its own while respectfully responding to the city theater. In front of the main entrance of the Knowledge and Culture Center, a beautiful space is created that connects the building to the existing squares and public spaces of the city center.

- Falkenberg's new Knowledge and Culture Center is a building with a strong character and clear profile that takes advantage of the qualities of the existing buildings and is a contemporary statement that adds a new and inspiring dimension to the city. It is a symbolic building that contributes to the city's diversity and social sustainability," says Kjell Adamsson, responsible architect and studio manager for real estate development at FOJAB.

The competition proposal will now form the basis for a new detailed plan for the entire block. If the work goes as planned, construction of the cultural and knowledge center will begin in 2017 and be completed by the fall semester of 2018.

See more pictures and read more about the project