The Cultural Center, "The Arch", located in the Southern Norwegian village of Mandal, is shaped like a green blanket that elevates and integrates the building in the surrounding landscape.
The green and subtle expression is a natural extension of the idyllic landscape consisting of the river, forests and little islands, surrounding Mandal.
The Arch is adjusted in color, scale and proportion to the
characteristic and picturesque Norwegian wooden houses by the
river's edge. By making the culture house an integrated element in
the landscape it makes the previously anonymous industrial area an
attractive new part of the town.
The glass facade opens up and exposes the lobby to the river bank allowing plenty of daylight into the building.
The Arch contains a theater- and concert hall, a library and a gallery. The layout ensures a high degree of visual contact between the different functions giving the house a dynamic feeling of life and activities at all times.
The Master Plan, also conceived by 3XN, focuses on making the
new town area reflect the rest of Mandal on the other side of the
river. Also, ensuring that all the houses, including the cultural
centre, will have maximal profit from the short distance to the
The plan also comprises a pedestrian bridge, which will further connect the cultural centre with the local community. The bridge is under construction.
Facts about The Arch
Marianne Bratteli "Chaos and Gaia"
Photographed by Adam Mørk
Last updated: December 19, 2013
North Adams, Massachusetts, USA