Cultural Centre, Drammen (Norway)

 

Cultural Centre, Drammen (Norway)

Cities all over Europe are reclaiming their industrial wastelands and the town of Drammen, 40 kilometres south-west of Oslo in Norway, is no exception.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Architect: LPO Arkitekter AS 
Technique: Standing Seam VMZINC®, Surface aspect: ANTHRA-ZINC®

 

On the banks of the river Drammenselva, an old paper mail was transformed into a state of the art cultural centre. Three universities have branches in this new facility that boasts a total surface area of 22,000 m2 and also houses several libraries, cinemas and shops in buildings that are new or renovated by the LPO architecture and design studio.

The Norwegian name of the new complex – Papirbredden (paper roll) – evokes the creativity generated by a blank page that can be covered with the texts of research or activity reports.  In former times, the plant’s position next to the river was ideal for wood supply.  Today, Papirbredden uses its position by the water like a stage: a large glass façade overlooks the river like a transparent affirmation of the public nature of the building.

In former times, the plant’s position next to the river was ideal for wood supply.   Today, Papirbredden uses its position by the water like a stage: a large glass façade overlooks the river like a transparent affirmation of the public nature of the building.

In winter times the complex is like a lighthouse and with the lights from its reading rooms reflected in the river it becomes the main attraction in the area.  A new footbridge aligned with the side façade provides a new angle from which to view the centre and further highlights its theatrical aspect.

 

The front of the new building is decidedly modern, while its side and rear facades blend harmoniously with the existing industrial buildings.   The walls of theses facades are lower and connect with the old constructions, which can be easily identified by their brickwork facades.   Zinc is the link between past and present, connecting the structure of the old industrial buildings (originally covered in black metal and the modern lacquered aluminium structure of the huge glass façade.   Zinc is also used on certain sections of wall to delineate independent surfaces.   The architects discovered preweathered zinc, by chance when they were exploring dark materials that can be installed on facades.   Lisbeth Halseth, project manager for LPO Arkiteckter, remembers her pleasant surprise on discovering ANTHRA-ZINC® – the surface aspect used to unify the different parts of the operation.