P5 by White arkitekter AB is the newly opened contemporary conference centre within the top floor of Väven, a cultural centre in Umeå, Nothern Sweden. Väven, with P5, as an architectural landmark of premier calibre it has already won Sweden's most prestegious award, The Kasper Salin Award, and has been nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Award.
Overlooking the river Ume, the centre has expansive views of the surrounding landscape. Walking into the main lobby, one’s attention is immediately turned to the characteristic walls of undulating black glass that encapsulate the centre’s meetings and practical functions. The attention is gently shifted to the crackling conference facility campfire in the middle of the lobby, burning what could be “näver”, or the distinctive bark from the surrounding area’s birch trees.
The project features room-high wood paneling reminiscent of, and inspired by the city’s signature, Birch trees – the white bark resembling the opaque cladding during the daytime hours, while at night the warm interior light gives off the same illusion. Measuring 6,800 sq. ft. the signature walls are comprise of 15,000 pieces of bark interwoven with remarkable precision. The darker bands meanwhile, are symbolised in the envelope’s glazing.
P5's rich color palette is enhanced by the monochrome furniture in full-bodied orange, which represents one of the centre’s hallmarks; its implementation of craftsmanship and sturdy materials which characterise the experience.
"The P5 is not posh and luxurious. It is much better than that. Our goal has been to capture the state of mind that exists within those that live above the Arctic Circle; one that is closely intertwined with nature, and to express that, interwoven into our design.", says architect Mattias Lind, who during his 20 plus years at White, has worked with high-profile projects such as the offices of renowned advertising agency Forsman & Bodenfors and the top floor conference center at Calatrava’s Turning Torso in Malmö.