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Buen Mandal

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Uploaded on Feb 17, 2011

Cultural centre and masterplan, competition win 2007. Buen ("The Arch") is like a green blanket that elevates and makes room for the cultural centre, and thus integrates it in the surrounding landscape.

The master plan, also conceived by 3XN, comprises a hotel integrated with the cultural centre and a number of houses for both residential and retail use around the cultural centre, adjusted in scale and proportion after the characteristic and classic Norwegian wooden houses. It focuses on making the new town area reflect the rest of Mandal on the other side of the river and ensuring that all the houses including the cultural centre will have maximal enjoyment of the short distance to the river. As the building is reflected in the river, activities in the new cultural centre reflect the cultural life of Mandal town.

The glass façade opens and expose the lobby to the river bank, and the green blanket roof provides the users of The Arch with an extra outdoor space, where they can go and bring a cup of coffee from the café underneath, or a book from the cultural centre library, and enjoy the view. Integrating the hotel with the cultural centre the design allows hotel guests easy access to the library and exhibitions in the gallery, and users of the centre may dine in the hotel restaurant.

Whereas the cultural centre is a signifier of the area, the hotel and the surrounding housing form a coherent low-dense area referring to the scale of the town. The master plan tries to keep motoring traffic at a minimum and establish instead the narrow pathways and greens characteristic of the garden city.

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