Museum of World Culture



Gothenburg, SE


SFV Statens Fastighetsverk (Swedish National property board)


National museum of ethnography including exhibition galleries, research centre, library, 200-seat auditorium & restaurant


10 950 m²


£26 000 000


Completed 2004


Kasper Salins Prize – Best new building in Sweden, 2004

Selected work European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture ‘Mies van der Rohe Award’, 2005

AIA / UK Chapter Excellence in Design Award, 2005

Nominee – The Forum Prize, Stockholm, Sweden, 2005

International Prize ‘Dedalo Minosse alla Committenza di Architettura’, Vicenza, Italy, 2006


The museum provides a new public platform for the ethnographic collections of Sweden. It also serves as a new forum for international and local events. The site is situated at the foot of a hill in the city centre.

The design strategy revolved around creating a clearly marked difference between a solid west wing, containing the gallery spaces and offices along the street, and an open east wing towards the hill, where public activities take place. Between the solid west and the open east is a canyon-like zone containing the building services, with public circulation weaving its way through the three areas.

As one goes up the building, the elements which were seen from below are gradually perceived from above, creating a sequence of reference points throughout the building with alternating views of the hill, atrium and museum.

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