Lund, Sweden
Année du projet
Histoires par
Carmen Izquierdo

Nordic Copper from Aurubis Finland
Åke E:son Lindman


Carmen Izquierdo en tant que Architectes d'intérieur.

The site of the new cathedral forum is central Lund, in direct connection to the cathedral itself. On the site is situated the existing "Arken" house, which is a building of historical value.

The new building aims to integrate itself in the urban fabric in a natural way, by adapting to the scale and lines of the surrounding cityscape. At the same time our vision has been to create a contemporary building that adds a new layer to the many historic layers that characterize the urban environment of central Lund.

The shape of the building creates new adjacent public spaces: The entrance plaza towards Kyrkogatan street, the entrance passage facing the cathedral, and a triangular square towards Kungsgatan street. In addition to the welcoming exterior spaces an internal atrium is created, as well as an interior courtyard, shaped by the existing and the new building.

The central public space in the building is the entrance hall that is reached from both entrances. The entrance hall is formed as a meeting space; a general and generous which can hold various activities like reception, exhibitions and a cafe. A two-storey atrium allows daylight to enter from above, while visually integrating the public spaces with the congregational facilities on the second storey. The auditorium is conceived as a unique space, with its skylight pointing up towards the cathedral towers.

The exterior is a simple yet characteristic volumes, its lines playing with the surrounding buildings. Towards Kyrkogatan street the roof lines of the Arken house are continued over the entrance plaza. Towards the cathedral the entrance is signaled by the characteristic skylight. The facade of the building is made of a brass alloy, a natural material that ages with a rich and living texture, allowing the building to age into its surroundings; at the inauguration it shimmers like gold, but in a couple of years it will have oxidized into a deep and matte bronze color. The interior of the building is cast in concrete with form of wooden boards. The massive and heavy character of the material is balanced by the play of light in the interior spaces.


Nordic Copper from Aurubis Finland en tant que Facades.

A new visitors‘ centre in the southern Swedish city of Lund uses brassclad faceted forms to link together disparate existing buildings and to regenerate the square fronting the 12th century cathedral that it serves.

Architect Carmen Izquierdo’s design, developed from a competition- winning entry, is centred on a thoroughly contemporary brass and glass intervention winding its way between several old buildings, binding them to the complete scheme. The street frontage to Kyrkogatan incorporates a brass canopy, simply continuing the roof plane of the adjacent building, with an entry forecourt below. The building continues back to Kungsgatan, then extends towards the cathedral with an expressive form – the auditorium – terminating with a funnel window, symbolically reaching up towards the historic towers.

Adding to the Historical Strata Carmen Izquierdo said: “The vision was to create a contemporary building that adds a new layer to the historical strata that make up central Lund. The new building endeavours to blend in with the townscape in a natural way by capturing the scale and lines of the existing buildings. The motto of the winning entry was ‘Portal and Atrium’, and the ambitions of the original proposal are followed up with a completely new programme in the final design.”

Internally, the dominant space is the entrance lobby, served both from the cathedral square and Kungsgatan. With its double height atrium, it is a convivial meeting place used for reception, exhibitions and refreshments, overlooked by offices on the upper floor. Here, the solidity of the plank shuttering embossed concrete walls contrasts with the openness created by fully glazed partitions. The expressive auditorium is designed as a unique space with its distinctive, trapezoidal funnel window framing views of the cathedral spires.

A Gateway for Visitors Carmen Izquierdo added: “The building creates interesting outer and inner sequential spaces and will be a gateway for visitors to the Cathedral and a forum for in-depth study and discussion. The new building has a simple but expressive design that interplays with the surrounding townscape through its angles and declivities. Brass was chosen for the new building’s external skin as a natural material that gives a rich, vibrant surface. As the material mellows with age, the building will gradually blend in with the townscape.”

In its new, bright state, the building is certainly assertive and demands a response from visitors. But as the brass darkens naturally with age over the first few years, it will take on a more subtle, timeless quality. The forms and movement of the building across the site succeed in preserving important historic views while also creating new perspectives. More intimate and varied public spaces are also generated around and within the visitors’ centre. At its opening last year, Bishop Antje Jackelén aptly described the new building as “the Cathedral’s extended embrace”.

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