The Cultural Center of Alingsås is a reuse and restore project. The institution has over the years been struggling with a substantive imbalance. The Cultural Center was synonymous with a library, both in signage and physical design. Other functions in the center fought to get the attention of the people living in Alingsås, including an inaccessible and inconspicuous art gallery. Also there was a lack of activities for a younger audience, cafés, spaces for socializing and the workplaces no longer matched the way the culture center was running. The municipality wanted to get a new start for the Cultural Center and therefore formulated a new set of core values. From the values description of a permissible place, a place of creativity where everyone is welcome – came the concept of seeing the Cultural Center as a workshop. A workshop is a permissive and creative place, Alingsås Culture Center would become a workshop for culture, a place to knock together a personal and unique cultural experience.

Like a workshop’s different workstations, the Cultural Center was divided into various spaces containing different functions, each given a characteristic color as a communicative tool, often surrounded by space-building frameworks. With plywood furnishings, bright colors, patterns, and concrete along with motley textiles, we wanted to create an affable feel, similar to the one in a workshop. The challenge was also to make all activities visible to the public and still create “one” cohesive Cultural Center in the existing building, all within a very limited budget.

Our solution was:

– Mix the activities together, for example, put the art gallery in the middle of the library.

– Clarifying vertical communication paths with a highlighting color that naturally leads the visitor further.

– Think new: Allow a cup of coffee in the children’s section and video games in the adult section, allow it to be playful everywhere not just for kids.

– Renovate and reuse large parts of existing furnishings.

– Reflect the core values through the architecture.

TypologyCultural Center, library, art gallery
ClientKultur och Fritid, City of Alingsås
TeamJohan Olsson, Andreas Lyckefors, Per Bornstein, Jenny Andersson Höfvner, Joel Gödecke, Emelie Johansson
LocationAlingsås, Sweden
PhotographyÅke E:son Lindman

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