Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
The Arch Cultural Center in Mandal, Norway by 3XN
May 17th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: 3XN
The Cultural Centre ”Buen” (The Arch) in the Southern Norwegian village of Mandal is shaped like a green blanket that elevates and integrates the building in the surrounding landscape. The glass façade opens up and exposes the lobby to the river bank allowing plenty of daylight into the building. The building is adjusted in colour, scale and proportion to the characteristic and picturesque Norwegian wooden houses by the river’s edge.
Close Contact to Nature and Water
By making the culture house an integrated element in the landscape it contributes to an attractive new part of the town which was previously an anonymous industrial area. The green and subtle expression is a natural extension of the idyllic landscape surrounding Mandal consisting of the river, forests and little islands. The water is present everywhere in Mandal, which is why the culture house is situated and oriented towards the water, giving the building the full benefit of the light, the water and the south facing location.
The Arch contains a theatre- and concert hall, a library and a gallery. The layout of the building ensures a high degree of visual contact between the different functions giving the house a dynamic feeling of life and activities at all times.
Masterplan creates connections
The master plan, also conceived by 3XN, focuses on making the new town area reflect the rest of Mandal on the other side of the river and ensuring that all the houses including the cultural centre will have maximal profit from the short distance to the river. The plan also comprises a pedestrian bridge, which will further connect the cultural centre with the local community. The bridge is under construction as is expected to be finished autumn 2012.
The Arch contains library, cultural education, cinema and gallery and has multifunctional scenes designed for theater, dance, concerts, etc. The Arch will be developed as a production and dissemination point for experience and learning and is operated by Mandal Municipality.
3XN won the competition for the design of the new cultural center, a master plan for the surrounding area and a bridge over the Mandal river in December 2007. The bridge is under construction and scheduled for completion in 2012. The contest was also attended by: Henning Larsen Architects, Niels Torp, L2 Architects and IN’BY LPO Architecture & Design.
Category: Cultural Center