Making culture the centre of the Community

The first impression of this Cultural Centre in the waterside Norwegian town of Flekkefjord is breathtaking.

Troldtekt Flekkefjord Kulturhus
Photo: Sindre Ellingsen

It has purposefully been designed by architects Helen and Hard as a powerful magnet to draw the public in to enjoy the multitude of facilities on offer. These include a large theatre, cinema, comprehensive library, youth club and study rooms which offer a wide range of activities.

Externally, all this has been expressed by the architects in several different ways. Certainly, its most dramatic feature is its sloping structure with cantilevered roof in bright red which penetrates and is reflected internally. Another unusual feature is the stepped ceiling folded down to create the back wall of the foyer which links another unusually large stairwell with similar red finish and lighting marking the steps. The roof over the foyer is made of glue laminated timber beams, while other walls and floors are formed in concrete clad with birch plywood in the public areas.  

A wide external staircase also exudes colour, dramatic lines, views and spatial design which is equally inviting to individuals as it is to the many thousands of visitors. This also doubles as a south-facing viewpoint and extends the public plaza up the façade, paralleled by interior stairs and slopes which distribute the audience to different levels.

With so much exposed space and hard surfaces inside, the architects needed to control high volume reverberations and potential noise pollution. This has been achieved using Troldtekt wood wool panels to form acoustic ceilings throughout. These fine structure panels in the colour natural wood complement the exposed timber beams and other details. This a great example of how to absorb and influence levels of noise for the benefit of the occupants.

Without doubt, what has been created by this Cultural Centre is inviting, inspiring and very interesting for both locals and tourists alike.