• Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman
  • Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman
  • Photographer: Åke E:son Lindman

Museum of World Culture

The Museum of World Culture in Gothenburg is one of the younger buildings in the State’s property portfolio. The museum opened in December 2004, and both the building and its activities have won multiple awards.

The construction of the museum was a large-scale, high-profile project, and it was also the first time that such a major cultural institution was located outside the capital city. The Museum of World Culture is a borderless building and an experience in its own right.

When the decision was made to build the new museum, an open architectural competition was announced. The London-based duo of architects Cécile Brisac and Edgar Gonzalez won with their “Ice Cube” proposal.

Ice cube with advanced design

The Museum of World Culture consists of two main component parts: a concrete structure facing Södra Vägen (South Road) and a glass atrium facing Liseberg Amusement Park. At Södra Vägen, advanced engineering techniques allow the upper floors of the building to protrude over the footpath and cycle path.

As well as glass façades, the building also has glazed lifts. Inside the entrance is a large, central staircase with oak flooring, inspired by the Spanish Steps in Rome, with the aim of conveying the sense of an outdoor square.

The Kasper Sahlin Prize

As early as 2004, the building received the finest award in Swedish architecture, the Kasper Sahlin Prize. In 2009, the Museum of World Culture was named Museum of the Year for its initiatives aimed at young adults and for working proactively to reflect social debates. The building was also named Building of the Year by representatives of the construction industry, and has been honoured with the Award for Excellence in Design, which is presented by The American Institute of Architects in the UK.

Change and administration

Since the official opening of the Museum of World Culture in 2004, its activities have developed and changed. This brings new demands and preferences for the building as well. The Swedish National Property Board manages the Museum of World Culture’s building and works together with the tenant, the National Museums of World Culture, to ensure that the building’s form will go hand in hand with the development of activities.

About the museum

The museum’s exhibitions deal with contemporary issues, phenomena and lifestyles. The programme also includes festivals, dance clubs, seminars and presentations. The museum's vision is to be a place that pursues a dialogue with the world at large in order that people can feel at home across borders and become engaged in creating a shared future.

Place on map

Stor karta



Södra vägen 54

412 54 Göteborg
57.6945, 11.9892


Year of Construction:
Cécile Brisac and Edgar Gonzalez