Stockholm House of Culture & City Theatre
Architect: Peter Celsing, 1966 (competition) -1974 / Ahrbom & Partner (1974- ongoing)
A House for all Art Forms
Kulturhuset Stadsteatern - Stockholm House of Culture & City Theatre. Located in the heart
of Stockholm's political and commercial center, it also serves as a public space for all people
in Stockholm. The house hosts a number of cultural venues, including libraries, theatres,
debate spaces, art exhibitions, film screenings, dance and music performances. We have
approximately 3 million visitors annually.
The vision of architect Peter Celsing was to create a space that could accommodate all art forms. “I am
building for a new human being that has to come” was both a plea and a pledge from the renowned
architect who won the architects competition for a new cultural center in 1966. The aim was to create a new
kind of institutional building: a center with “the atmosphere of the street and the opportunities of a
workshop”. The glass front of the building facing the central square Sergels torg enhances the idea of a
shared common space, and at night creates a transparent view into the interior.
Kulturhuset Stadsteatern is a publicly funded cultural institution where artistic directors lead the
programming that fills the house. The activities also include two cultural centers located in the suburbs of
Stockholm and a touring summer company which offers free musical events as well as theatre and dance
performances all around the city parks.
There are eight venues at Kulturhuset Stadsteatern. In 2016 approximately 2 200 shows of performing arts
played for an audience of 510 000, including dance performances and concerts. Since 2013 Kulturhuset
Stadsteatern has its own dance company in residence. The theatre wing – formerly known as the Stockholm
City Theatre – was founded in 1960 and is the largest dramatic theatre in Northern Europe.
Kulturhuset Stadsteatern also presents approximately four curated art, design and fashion exhibitions
annually, and houses Stockholm’s oldest stage for writer talks and literature programs as well as a new
stage for debates and seminars on current topics.
An important part of the house are its six libraries that cater to different audiences of which three have a
children’s and youth perspective. There is a library especially for Comics and one for Film & Music. The
children’s department has its own Room for Children where exhibitions and activities is an equally important
part as literature. There is also TioTretton, a library for young people between 10 and 13, and Lava which houses
studios and workshops as well as books, for those between 14 and 25.
Any given day the house offers new paths into diversity, might it be a debate, an exhibition, a performance
or just finding that special book you always wanted but didn’t know existed.
The building also houses restaurants, shops and a Tourist Center run by external partners.