SOM Wins International Design Competition for Landmark Tower in Sweden

London: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Inc. (SOM), along with Copenhagen architects Entasis and in collaboration with COWI in Denmark and Sweden, has been awarded the Polestar Tower project in Gothenburg, Sweden. Following an international competition, the team’s design for a 230-meter tower and master plan for the surrounding area has been chosen from proposals by five shortlisted finalists.

Commissioned by major contractor SERNEKE and the City of Gothenburg, this inspirational new residential scheme includes Sweden’s tallest building, marking a shift from traditional development patterns in the country. Drawing on its experience as designer of six of the world’s 15 tallest buildings, SOM’s design is highly efficient, both in terms of floor space and energy use, and features apartments with views focused on the city and waterfront. The tower’s design is complemented by a sustainable vision for the entire area, strengthening Gothenburg as a whole — in particular the post-industrial business district north of Götaälven.

Extending from this bold vision, the master plan creates a highly animated 143,000-square-meter, mixed-use district. Offering a vibrant destination with a range of retail, food, and beverage opportunities, this new neighborhood will act as a catalyst in making the district of Lindholmen the premier north bank area.

Kent Jackson, SOM Design Director in the firm’s London office, said: “We are very excited to have won this prestigious competition and will be pleased to deliver a great design and city district for the people of Gothenburg.”

A series of mid-rise towers will ascend from a robustly expressed sequence of podium buildings, providing context for Polestar. The tower will offer a variety of apartment types, including single-story flats, loft-style apartments, and duplexes. Balconies in each apartment will not only provide flexible living space, but will also accentuate the fluid geometry of the building.

The Polestar's design creates opportunities for community within the building, incorporating a shared residents’ lounge, a public restaurant, a gym, and a roof deck at podium level. The tower is topped with an observation deck which, as the highest point in Gothenburg, will provide the public an opportunity to share views of the city and the wider region.

In parallel to the Polestar Tower project, the design team has proposed another scheme in celebration of the city’s 400th anniversary: a new, landscaped ring linking key sites in Gothenburg, as well as the formation of a new park through the realignment of Lindholmsallén, a major thoroughfare. 

About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Inc.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Inc. is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban planning firms in the world, with a 75‐year reputation for design excellence and a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since its inception, SOM has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes, and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with more than 1,700 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award — in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Abu Dhabi.

About Entasis


Entasis is an internationally recognized architects practice, working on construction and competition projects in Denmark and abroad. The office's work ranges from master planning to building and landscape projects, displaying an impressive high technical level in all its designs. As one of Denmark's leading firms, Entasis has won several awards including the Thorvald Dreyer’s Foundation honorary prize and Scandinavia’s prestigious Nykredit Architecture Prize. In 2007 Entasis won the competition for the development of Carlsberg City, Denmark, and in 2009 the Carlsberg Master Plan of 40,000 square meters was elected winner of the category “the world’s best master plan” at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona.

About COWI

COWI is a leading consulting group that creates value for customers, people, and society through its unique 360-degree approach. Based on our world-class competencies within engineering, economics, and environmental science, we tackle challenges from many vantage points to create coherent solutions for our customers, and thereby sustainable and coherent societies in the world. COWI's design specialists master all disciplines related to the design of tall buildings and work to optimize the interaction between innovative and proven solutions in high-rise buildings. Example of COWI's work within high-rise buildings are the Four Seasons Hotel in Manama, Bahrain, and a new residential tower in Carlsberg City District in Denmark.