Folkets hus, SaudaNext →
The Folkets Hus building was built through communal work by workers in the Sauda industrial centre, and was completed in 1931. The building is part of an architectural and cultural-historical whole together with the rest of the architecture which is characteristic of the Sauda industrial centre. The project includes rehabilitation of existing cultural buildings with an annex containing a multipurpose hall, cafeteria and premises for a culture school, among other things. The result is a combination of a living cultural building and a national cultural monument.
2015 – 2018
1,000 m² newbuilds
Rehabilitation and extension of cultural centre with multipurpose hall and culture school
The Folkets Hus building in Sauda was built through extensive communal work based on architect Gustav Helland's drawings. The building has clear classicistic features, but it is simple and powerful. The hall has murals painted by Ragnvald Eikeland and Håkon Landa in 1953. The original part of the Folkets Hus building is proposed to be listed (2021).
The new Folkets Hus building is extended with a multipurpose hall, a cafeteria/lobby, kitchen, storage room, offices and practice room for the culture school and the youth club. The annex has its own loading area at the back of the plot, which helped release the architectural and organisational grip.
The original Folkets Hus building has a street level entrance and cloakroom, kitchen and other auxiliary rooms a few steps up. The main staircases are symmetrically placed on each side of the entrance with access to the main hall and gallery. The stage connected with the hall is on its own level with access from separate stairs in the rear. There were no elevators or ramps in the building originally, so one of the main tasks was to make all levels universally accessible.
Our project consists of a new building with an entrance level at the cloakroom level, accessible through a ramp integrated in the basement from the street level. One new elevator for the audience and "back of house" is placed so that it serves the first-floor hall and stage as well as the culture school premises. Between the old Folkets Hus building and the multipurpose hall, there is a cafeteria/lobby under a large glass roof, so that the facade of the building forms the side wall of the combined room. The cafeteria or lobby appears as an open outdoor or backyard room where the building has retained its integrity, while the elevator tower and galleries of the new building add life and movement to the room. The inner facade of the new building is covered in slats and acoustic plaster in order to improve acoustical attenuation against the glass ceiling, the hard floor and the plaster wall of the original building.
The new hall is a multipurpose room of about 120 m2 with a flat floor and telescopic amphitheatre for flexible use. Parts of the wall is covered in mirrors so that it can also be used as a practice hall for dancing. It has direct access from the storage room with loading from the street, and two entrances so that it can be used in interaction with the lobby for exhibitions with movement/wandering, as well as flexible stage placement. The acoustics in this room are muted, so that it can be used for all types of stage and musical expression aided by electronics.
Back of house consists of offices, music workshop and archive/storage room on the ground floor, and practice rooms for the culture school on the first floor. The practice rooms are muted and have sloping walls for the optimal use for music, including brass instruments and drums.
The first floor of the new building corresponds with the stage level in the old hall, and provides a seamless transition between the old and the new, combined with universal access.
The old hall is very gently restored. The most important initiative is a new acoustically attenuated ceiling and curtains along the walls of the hall in order to dampen reverberation without changing the character of the room or taking attention away from the murals showing the class society and farming community of Sauda in the 1950s.
Per Christian Brynildsen
Sivilarkitekt MNAL, Partner
+47 92 20 95 11