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SKELLEFTEA, SWEDEN’S NEW “MUST VISIT” DESTINATION

Skellefteå in Northern Sweden is gaining fame in the tourism world. It is home to the tallest skyscraper made of wood which includes a hotel, a theatre, a museum and an art gallery. Is it Sweden’s newest tourism jewel?

The Swedish city of Skellefteå, in Lapland is likely to have its time of glory from now as it is home to a new performing arts center and hotel made entirely of wood. The new Sara Cultural Centre is topped by a hotel, which is 80 metres high and has 20 floors. For an all-wooden tower, this is a world first.

“In 2015, when we proposed such an all-wood building, people thought we were crazy,” recalls Oskar Norelius, one of the architects of the project. The hardest thing is to show that what works in theory also works in practice, because it had never been done before.”

Wood, cut from the surrounding forests, is everywhere in Sara Cultural Centre. In the structure of the tower itself but also in the 1,200-seat auditorium, the library, the exhibition rooms and even the lift cage.

“It is a 21st century building and that is one of the reasons to come here to see that structure. Another advantage of wooden buildings is that they can fix carbon from the artmosphere for a very long time,” adds the architect.

On the upper floors, the hotel rooms are all-wood prefabricated modules that were assembled by crane in just a few hours. Visitors will be able to see and touch the simple metal plates held together by screws which assemble the structure. The hotel offers 205 rooms or 410 beds as well as a restaurant with panoramic views of Skellefteå and Lapland.

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