May 2nd, 2015 marked the official opening of Malmö Live, the new cultural centre in Malmö, Sweden. In 2010, schmidt hammer lassen architects in a team with Skanska, Nordic Choice Hotels, Akustikon and SLA won a competition to design the 54,000m² concert, congress and hotel complex. Located on Universitetsholmen in Malmö, the building consists of cubic areas that are twisted and given different sizes to match the directions and heights of buildings in the surrounding city.
The new cultural centre marks a new focal point and landmark in Malmö, offering a setting in which the spirit of the city and its diversity and intimacy receive an architectonic expression. The facades are designed with a homogeneous expression to make the composition appear as one architectonic sculpture.
schmidt hammer lassen designed Malmö Live around the idea of a small city, focusing on open and dynamic layout that offers numerous activities. The lobby was designed to resemble a street, which runs through the entire ground floor and ties everything together. Like medieval cities, which had curved, narrow streets organized around plazas and squares, the lobby is designed to form small gathering places and recesses where visitors can stop, sit and enjoy the view of the canal and the park.
The idea was to create a ‘house of the city’ incorporating the architectonic expressions of Malmö to develop a building that will contribute to existing urban life. The context inspired our choice of materials and colours as well as the various sizes of the building’s areas, yet the building design itself points to the future.
– Kristian Ahlmark – Senior Partner at schmidt hammer lassen architects
The main entrance is found at the northern part of the building, which has a classic loggia motif facing the plaza in front. From the south, visitors enter the building directly from the promenade running along the canal.
We have broken the building mass down into smaller entities that interact with the context. The clearly defined volumes also create a hierarchy in the way in which the building is perceived. The exterior expression uses the city’s scale and its colour and materiality as a starting point. Here, qualitative and differentiated spaces are created around the building in conjunction with the surrounding buildings. These spaces include a common space for skating or watching football on a big screen, a green park path, a new promenade along the canal to the south and two large wooden decks that connect the water and the building.
– Kristian Ahlmark
Inside, three volumes hold a large symphony hall, a flexible hall and a conference hall, which are clearly defined elements that, through their mutual composition, set the tone for the musicality of the building. The three building masses have an almost-urban scale that supports the idea of ‘a city within the city’.
The interior is simple, consisting of rough black concrete, stone, wood and brass. The street life outside is drawn directly inside to support the open nature of the building. In the concert hall, the mood changes. The hall is an intimate space outfitted in oak and brass.
We worked in very close cooperation with Akustikon to achieve two things: an absolutely world-class sound and a room with a musicality that works with the music, like sitting inside an instrument. The result is a composition of cubic elements. Each surface has a function, angle and size that supports the acoustics. Light is integrated into the walls so the mood can be changed depending on what is being performed in the hall.
– Kristian Ahlmark
The official opening of the Concert Hall will be held on 26–28 August 2015. On 4 June 2015, the new outdoor areas within Malmö Live will be inaugurated.
Architects: schmidt hammer lassen
Location: Malmö, Sweden
Client: Concert Hall: City of Malmö, Hotel and congress: Skanska Sverige AB
Area: Concert, congress and hotel: 54,000m2
Competition: International property development competition in 2010
Status: Completed in 2015
Landscape architect: SLA
Contractor: Skanska Sverige AB
Other collaborators: Akustikon
Sustainability: Tagetting LEED Platinum
Photographer: Adam Mørk
*All images and information courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen.