Riksbyggen and Sweco Architects were announced as the winners of a government-led competition to create a cross-laminated timber framed housing development for the Johanneberg district of Gothenburg, Sweden. The proposal, called “Slå rot” (Swedish for “put down roots”), was chosen for its response to its existing environment with nods to tradition, while still providing an innovative structural system and modern living to the neighborhood.
The seven-story building houses 45 apartments in a variety of sizes and arrangements. On the lower floors, the living space ranges from 65 to 100 square meters, with 120 square meter terraced apartments on the rooftops. The apartments face either north-south or east-west to maximize on sunlight and bedrooms are oriented towards the courtyard for privacy.
The design of the exterior of the building takes reference from two different architectural styles of Johannesburg's past. The upper and lower quarters of the neighborhood feature both the simplified shapes of the Swedish grace style of the 1920’s and the functionalist aesthetic of the 1930’s. The materialization and colorization of the facade along with rounded balustrades hint at the project’s ties to its past. Still, the building’s expressive facade stands apart with its own contemporary features such as multiple glazed openings.
Sustainability is at the forefront of the design, both in its constructional and operational considerations. The apartments feature balconies with glass screens that provide a thermal buffer and encourage residents to grow their own plants. A locally-run green cafe is located on the bottom floor of the development to provide common spaces that stimulate community interaction. Additionally, a car and bike pool will be provided to lessen dependence on automobile ownership.
The timber-framed tall building design has been popularized in recent years, especially in northern regions such as Canada and Scandinavia, where the technology is advancing rapidly. The main structure of the building is a system of glue-lam beams and pillars, joined through CNC-milled joinery and stabilized through concrete cores and reclaimed brick. Prefabricated CLT modules will mount themselves in this grid. As a nod to its structural system, the exterior is clad in wooden paneling.
By using new technical tools in combination with traditional craftsmanship regarding the wood properties, we can today build high quality wooden houses in an economically sustainable model, says Mikael Ahlén, Market Area Manager at Riksbyggen.
The project will start in 2018 and is slated to be completed in 2021, the 400th year anniversary of Gothenburg.
News Via: Sweco Architects.