Making light work: grand designs at Bodø’s Stormen library and cultural centre

This Norwegian town, hastily rebuilt after second world war bombing, now has a vibrant and innovative arts centre in pride of place on its waterfront

On the waterfront in the coastal town of Bodø, Norway, just north of the Arctic Circle, the £110m Stormen (storm) library and cultural centre stands out against the bland surrounding buildings.

Designed by London-based DRDH Architects, the modern cluster of cubist buildings have white concrete surfaces varying from matte to polished, and long windows that flood the interior with light. Much of the town was destroyed in a Luftwaffe attack in May 1940 but the rapidly built prefabricated homes and public buildings are now slowly being replaced by more permanent structures and Stormen, opened in 2014, takes pride of place.

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