In daylight, the new Cultural Center in the Swedish city of Kungsängen presents itself as a clearly structured cube-shaped building with a reflecting, homogenous copper-colored façade. The surprise is the light flooded vastness of the generous interior of the new building that unfolds to the visitor upon entry. It is then that it becomes clear that the metallically gleaming and seemingly opaque outer areas are actually transparent glass facades which offer a clear view of the surrounding city. When night falls, on the other hand, the exterior of the illuminated building resembles a delicate light sculpture and allows a myriad of views deep into the rooms. This changes the homogenous façade appearance at daylight into a very vivid structure at night when the illuminated rooms contrast with the dark partial surfaces of the bracing walls and staircase core. These different visual perceptions and axis are achieved with OKALUX façade glazing consisting of OKATECH insulating glass with functional copper expanded metal inserts.
Fluent Spatial Structures
The Cultural Center was built according to plans drawn up by Werket Arkitekter AB in Uppsala, as an extension of the City Hall of the association of local authorities Upplands-Bro. The extensive room program consisting of library, theater hall, exhibition and workshop areas as well as gastronomy and generous open spaces required the erection of seven floors with a total of 22,000 m² floor space. The recessed upper floors allow the imposing volume to blend into the existing city structure harmoniously. The various functions were purposely not clearly separated from one another in the interior. For example, the broad stairwell designed as a large sitting and communication area, a café as well as reading corners and computer areas overlap. In order to provide sufficient daylight into the depths of the floor plan with all of these special structures, the architects chose a transparent façade of storey-high OKATECH functional glass with an insert of copper expanded metal in the cavities. The triple insulating glass ensures the high degree of winter heat protection so crucial in Scandinavia as well as the necessary fall protection.
Architecture with Light, Transparency and Colour
The effect of the copper insert intrigues in several ways: Fundamentally, the asymmetrically flared metal perforation functions as effective sun protection as well as a direction selective daylight system giving the character of the diffused light in the interior a unique softness. The combination of transparency and visual protection is an especially good design:
While OKATECH offers clear views from the inside to the outside, it protects views from the outside during the day, thus emphasizing the private sphere of the interior. The typical hues of the copper round off the comfortable atmosphere – in the interior by day as well as in the effect of the illumination on the exterior by night.
Object Cultural Center in Kungsängen/SE
Client Upplands-Bro Kommunfastigheter, Kungsängen/SE
Architect Werket Arkitekter,
Glass OKATECH with Copper Expanded Metal Insert from OKALUX GmbH, Marktheidenfeld/DE