Malmö Live, the new cultural centre in Malmö (Sweden) is a 54,000m2 concert, congress and hotel complex. The masterplan also includes 27,000m2 for housing and commercial use. The project combines three separate typologies; hotel, congress centre and concert hall into one multifaceted entity, enabling the building to adapt to many different functions and activities. The project challenges the traditional understanding of what is considered private-public.
Malmö Live is an open, expressive, dynamic building offering numerous activities within its architecture. The point of departure for the building’s design is the modern Scandinavian architectural tradition, which focuses on clear, functional organisation and an accessible, open ground floor layout. The building has become a focal point and landmark in Malmö, offering a setting in which the spirit of the city, its diversity and intimacy receive an architectonic expression.
The idea was to create a ‘house of the city’ incorporating the appearance of Malmö to develop a building that will contribute to the existing urban life. The context inspired the choice of materials and colours as well as the various sizes of the building’s areas, yet the building design itself points to the future.
The building consists of cubic areas that are twisted and given different sizes to match the directions and heights of the surrounding city. The facades are designed with a homogeneous expression to make the composition appear as one architectonic sculpture.
The building mass was broken down into smaller entities that interact with the context. The clearly defined volumes also create a hierarchy in the way in which Malmö Live is perceived. The exterior expression include a common space for skating or watching football on a big screen, a green park path, a new promenade along the canal to the south and two large wooden decks that connect the water and the building.
The main entrance is found at the northern part of the building, which has a classic loggia motif facing the plaza in front. From the south, visitors enter the building directly from the promenade running along the canal.
The ground floor is fully open and accessible to all, whether going to a concert, attending a congress, staying at the hotel, or just stopping by for coffee or take a shortcut through the building. The different functions are organised as separate elements to resemble a small city. The lobby becomes the street, which ties everything together, designed to form small gathering spaces and recesses where visitors can stop, sit and enjoy the unique surroundings and take in the view of the city. Like medieval cities, which had curved, narrow streets organised around plazas and squares, the lobby is designed to form small gathering places and recesses where visitors can stop, sit and enjoy the view of the canal and the park.
Inside, three volumes hold a large symphony hall, a flexible hall and a conference hall, which are clearly defined elements that, through their mutual composition, set the tone for the musicality of the building. The street life outside is drawn directly inside to support the open nature of the building.
The 1600 seat concert hall is the Centre piece of the Malmö Live complex. Its 45 metres long, 23 metres wide and 20 metres high dimensions are purposely designed for the Malmo Symphony Orchestra. The concert hall is made of oak and brass which helps create an intimate atmosphere and stands in contrast to the complex's other interior that stands boldly in raw black concrete and stone.
With the concert hall's central location in Malmö Live and access via wide staircases and open, bright landings which offer views of the main lobby and of the promenade, the canal and the city, the concert guests become part of the complex’ dynamic and versatile life.
During the design process of Malmö Live we worked in very close cooperation with Akustikon to achieve two things: an absolutely world-class sound and a room with a musicality that works with the music, like sitting inside an instrument. The result is a composition of cubic elements. Each surface has a function, angle and size that supports the acoustics. Light is integrated into the walls so the mood can be changed depending on what is being performed in the hall.
The flexibility of the congress, the concert hall, the meeting facilities and the public spaces inside and outside Malmö Live makes it suitable for all kinds of events. The concert and conference activities and the hotel form the core for meetings, promotions, conferences, concerts, exhibitions, public performances, lectures etc.
The multifunctionality and the life which it creates inside and around the buildings is essential for long-term commercial viability. The integration of the hotel adds 24/7 life to the complex. Within the Clarion Hotel & Congress Malmö Live there is four concept restaurants, a Skybar with fine dining, a Mexican restaurant, a hotel restaurant and banquet and a deli café and coffee shop.
Malmö Live target LEED Platinum and the building meets category A standard of the Swedish green construction programme ‘Miljöbyggprogram Syd’. Malmö Live is a sustainable, green project designed with the intention to develop the area with as little environmental impact as possible.
With 30 years of experience, Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects is one of Scan-dinavia’s most recognized, award-winning architectural practices committed to innovative and sustainable design. Working out of studios located in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Shanghai, the practice provides skilled architectural services all over the world with a distinguished track record as designers of high-profile architec-ture. The practice is deeply rooted in the Scandinavian architectural traditions based on democracy, welfare, aesthetics, light, sustainability and social respon-sibility. Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects was founded in Aarhus, Denmark, in 1986 by architects Morten Schmidt, Bjarne Hammer and John F. Lassen. Today, the practice has grown substantially and employs 150 staff.