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SOM Wins Competition for Sweden's Tallest Tower

SOM, working alongside Danish practice Entasis Arkitekter, has been selected to design a new residential building in Gothenburg that will be Sweden's tallest tower. Coming out on top against an international shortlist that included Zaha Hadid Architects, SOM's 230m tall proposal 'The Pole Star' features four connected prisms which twist 90 degrees near the top.

The competition, run by developers Serneke, called for proposals for a 32,000 square meter mixed-use masterplan, including a 200+ meter residential tower, in Gothenburg's Lindholmen area. A particular focus for the jury was for proposals to "demonstrate how the skyscraper can be integrated into the structure of the neighborhood," adding that "the building should be a part of the area’s social and architectural context, not stand as a solitary monolith."

Read more about the jury's decision after the break

Courtesy of Serneke Courtesy of Serneke Courtesy of Serneke Courtesy of Serneke

Courtesy of Serneke
Courtesy of Serneke

In their selection of SOM's proposal, the jury called the design "an identity-building proposal that takes a smart holistic approach to both the skyscraper and the urban environment. The proposal integrates the local environment into a  whole that allows for a vibrant urban environment. The skyscraper’s distinctive identity adds character and vitality to Lindholmen and will be Gothenburg’s new landmark and pride."

A particular element of praise was the urban plan for the area, contributed by Entasis, which with its "safe and well thought-out" layout "handles connections admirably, both north-south and east-west, creating meeting points and spaciousness in a way that encourages outdoor gatherings." This layout also includes an "inclusive" urban park which "can become a meeting place for all," with the jury adding that "having the park as part of a lush, ring-shaped walkway is positive from the city’s perspective."

Courtesy of Serneke
Courtesy of Serneke

Focusing on the design's centerpiece, the jury added: "The skyscraper is both simple and compelling in design. By simple means, the building exhibits variation both vertically and laterally, through a play with the façade’s material in concrete and glass. Balconies and patios are cleverly incorporated into the design as a whole. The result is both eye-catching and intricately fashioned.

"The scale and position of the edifice is well-established both in its location and in the viewing distance. Its proposed cren- ellation with recommended lighting has the potential to become identity-forming, both for the location and for Gothenburg. A well-developed idea for the top floor makes the tower an inviting destination."

Courtesy of Serneke
Courtesy of Serneke

The jury's selection concludes: "Overall, the proposal is successful in its endeavor to create an attractive urban setting and a visually striking superstructure."

The jury consisted of:

  • Björn Siesjö, architect SAR/MSA City Architect Stadsbyggnadskontoret Göteborg
  • Anders Svensson, architect SAR/MSA, the Älvstad Project Stadsbyggnadskontoret Göteborg
  • Olle Lindkvist, Älvstranden Utvecklings AB
  • Erica Bengtsson, Environmental Strategist, Älvstranden Utvecklings AB
  • Ola Serneke, VD Serneke AB
  • Alban Herlitz, Project Development Manager Serneke AB
  • Louise Masreliez, architect SAR/MSA appointed by Sveriges Arkitekter
  • Christer Malmström, architect SAR/MSA appointed by Sveriges Arkitekter

Courtesy of Serneke
Courtesy of Serneke
  • Competition: Karlavagnsplatsen Tower Competition
  • Award: Winner
  • Project Name: The Pole Star
  • Architects: SOM, Entasis Arkitekter
  • Location: Karlavagnsgatan, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Som Design Team: Kent Jackson, Peter Jackson, Martin Grinnell & Yasemin Kologlu
  • Entasis Design Team: Christian Cold, Jorrit Verduin, Maika Moerner Jensen
  • Photographs: Courtesy of Serneke, Entasis Arkitekter
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:Rory Stott. "SOM Wins Competition for Sweden's Tallest Tower" 18 Jun 2014. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/517700/som-wins-competition-for-sweden-s-tallest-tower/>