In a town such as Mandal, Norway, with such a spirit of place and iconic/idyllic views, a new cultural centre for the inhabitants must walk a very thin line between heritage and future. The Danish firm 3XN seems to have done this fairly well in their centre titled ‘Buen’ (The Arch). The program includes a theater, cinema, concert hall, library, gallery and café and plans to offer activities for all ages of the town’s 15,000 inhabitants. Jan Ammundsen, Partner and Head of Design at 3XN explains ‘The Arch is a house of the people, so we designed a building that in an elegant and soft motion gathers the town’s cultural life, while the modern expression bears witness to a town in development’.
The arched form of the centre is inspired by both the soft hills surrounding the town and by the fact that the building sits on the town’s old industrial centre. From the surrounding hills, people will be able to look down on The Arch, and in the future they will see a green roof. This is coming.
Large, panoramic windows offer brilliant views in and out of the centre, linking the culture of the centre with the cultural of the town it serves.
© Adam Mõrk