Västanå Theater - Briab


Västanå Theater – the box in the barn

Västanå Theater and Berättarladan (The Storytelling Box) are together one of Sweden’s largest summer theaters – and during the winter, a touring theater. Since 2009 it is a regional theater for the county of Värmland, and is therefore a county institution. The theater has its stage and office in Sunne, Värmland. During the winter, Västanå Teater travels with its yurt, a Mongolian nomad tent, and in summer it uses its own stage, Berättarladan – a massive, renovated barn. The artistic director and theater manager is Leif Stinnerbom.

Brandskydd, Brandskyddsbeskrivning, Ventilationsbrandskydd

The Project – the box in the barn

Berättarladan is the largest barn in Värmland, converted to a theater. It is located next to Lake Fryken and Rottneros Park, just south of Sunne. It has a capacity of 500 and hosts some 25,000 guests per year. Apart from the theater performances, the building itself is worth discovering. Scenographer Lars Jacob Jakobsson designed and renovated the barn into a stage inspired by Shakespeare’s Elizabethan theaters. Because the theater is not winterized, the plan is to create a building inside the building, in the form of a box made of gluelam and cross-laminated timber. The result is a building envelope that enables year-round use.

Fire-technical challenges

As the project concerns cultural activities in a rural area, financial resources are limited. So from day one there has been a firm focus on keeping costs in check. We managed the project in close collaboration with the client, the operations and the local emergency services. One challenge was that the existing building was not built to accommodate large numbers of people. (The plan was for it to seat up to 250.) Another challenge is that the building’s new theater space will be made of wood, which forces the designers to be extra creative, and to use analytical dimensioning.

Brandskydd, Brandskyddsbeskrivning, Ventilationsbrandskydd

The Project Team

The client is the company Byggdialog, and the work was led by Peter Nilsson from Briab. The Briab team also included Josefin Andersson, administrator, and Daniel Engman, who was in charge of optimizing the fire-related features of the ventilation system.


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