Meeting Place Mariatorget - S:t Pauls Church

The alteration project of St. Paul’s Church (1876) aimed to create two new open and flexible squares: an exterior square serving as a meeting place between the city and the church’s activities, and an interior square where the church hall becomes a central hub around which new rooms, dining areas, and workspaces are arranged.

The alteration allowed for the addition of flexible rooms, workspaces, and professional food service, offering great versatility to the various parts of the church’s operations. The original church design featured a clear separation between the larger church hall and several smaller supporting rooms and functions. The redesign utilized the spaciousness and spiritual qualities of the church hall to create a large central gathering space, transforming the church space from an isolated room into a central hub within the building. New building elements were carefully integrated with the existing architecture, with the newly constructed mirrored gallery levels reflecting the window arrangement of the church hall. The result was a new symmetrical unity, replacing the original long and narrow church room with a directionless square space.

Central design choices have aimed to avoid dramatic encounters between existing and new building parts, rooms and surfaces. Instead, the desire has been for the end result to be experienced as a new unity, where new and old are intertwined. While the interior is dramatically transformed, externally, the original design is restored as far as possible. Much of the qualities that were gradually lost in the heavy-handed renovations of the 1900s have been corrected after careful investigation.

The building is from a technical point of view constructed with the aim to stand for 100 years with high demands as to energy and climate performance with an FTX ventilation system and integrated floor heating. Integrated acoustic as well as sound and light systems are dimensioned to house an ambitious program as a new culture scene. New galleries are constructed in a mix of concrete, steel and wood structure.