WAN brings you exclusive images of 3XN's latest project in picturesque South Norway
In a modest town in southern Norway the horizon is peaked with little white wooden houses, one of which rises above the rest. This is the latest project of inventive Danish practice 3XN who have introduced a modern addition to the sleepy township of Mandal. The Arch is an impressive new cultural centre encompassing a theatre, cinema, concert hall, library, gallery and café in its sleek white form, located on the edge of a charming beachfront.
With forest foliage as one background and sailboats the other, the arced form of the new centre references the rolling waves and the soft hillocks whilst its solid nature points at the industrial prior usage of the site. 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, which the modern expression bears witness to a town in development.”
Neither library nor theatre, cinema nor art gallery, the space is now abuzz with life as the centre opened to the public several weeks ago. The white exterior - inspired by the white wooden houses that define Mandal - is sliced through with a large pane of glass which enables vast quantities of light to penetrate the interior space. As the morning fog rolls off the water and encases The Arch, light from within cuts through the mist and showcases this spectacular new cultural centre.
The glazing also enables the building’s users to benefit from the waterfront position, as Ammundsen details: “It is important that the building’s activities are visible, and that the building connects to all the residents. Therefore, we have also emphasized designing the south-facing outdoor areas so they are attractive, sunny, recreational spaces with views to the river. In this way the building brings value to everyone in Mandal.”
Also on the cards is a bridge that will rise over the adjacent river and connect the townspeople with The Arch. Currently under construction, the bridge complements the cultural centre with its graceful curves and will provide the residents of Mandal the opportunity to view their town from elevated heights. 3XN also designed the bridge and accompanying masterplan for the surrounding area and will introduce a green roof to The Arch over time.