The aim of this project was to combine in a synergistic manner the domains of architecture, ecology and culture. The effect achieved is a powerful and highly appealing one, the elements from each of these spheres reinforcing each other.
The building with its attractive surroundings will become a landmark for Malmö when approached from the sea and will be an architectonically and culturally impressive tract to pass through in entering the city from abroad, either by boat, by car or by train.
The attraction of the building for the public is enhanced by its rich and varied offering of exhibitions, theatre plays, movies and musical events, as well as the restaurant and café located there, and by the beautiful view it affords in each direction. The panorama one has access to from each side of the building, and from each level and each spot within, symbolises Malmö's position both culturally and geographically. The city is located in the southern Swedish region of Skåne; it is firmly anchored in Öresund, the much-trafficked body of water that separates Malmö from Copenhagen; at the same time, its sights are also set on more distant points of interest, in Europe generally.
The elements of sun, wind, water and earth have been sources of inspiration for the building's form, and have also contributed to its energy supply. Solar heat generators are used to warm up seawater freed of salt, which is then stored beneath the building to be used both for heating purposes and for providing warm tap water. Passive use is also made of solar energy through warmth-absorbing walls and floors that have been installed inside the glass facade on the side of the building facing south. Two windmills provide the entire supply of electricity. A thick layer of earth covering a large part of the roof area serves as a natural insulator, also allowing grass, bushes and trees to grow there.
The building is constructed of highly functional materials - concrete, steel and glass - typically found in harbour structures and in ships. Use of such materials in conjunction with advanced technology contributes to a sense of dynamic tension created by the combination of the building's man-made character, the natural beauty of its surroundings, and the elements of "nature" in the building's exterior. The huge crane located there (the world's largest) is utilised both functionally, to provide space for a multimedia centre in the building linked with it, and sculpturally in commemoration of the island's history.