A People’s House
The word “common” is not usually associated with an award-winning concert hall, but it is a word that architect Kristian Ahlmark of Schmidt Hammer Lassen uses often and positively to describe Malmö Live in the south of Sweden, which began as a 2010 competition organised by the City of Malmö, completed by the Copenhagen architects with Skanska in 2015. The concert hall, clad in light natural oak and touches of brass, is only one of the large-scale building’s many names and functions.
A “little city within a city”, a “People’s House”,
Malmö Live has many identities, each one connecting happily to the other, and to the city itself.
A 1,600-seat concert hall for the Malmö Symphonic Orchestra to work and perform in, but also a congress centre and hotel – three large venues that instead of being presented side by side, are linked by common flexible spaces where people spill out and music meets and integrates into the everyday. “It’s like a community house,” says Ahlmark. There is even a “living room” where activities play out side by side, as well as a small recital space and rooftop “sky bar” and restaurant. The brief was to be vibrant and sustainable – both boxes ticked.