SOM and Copenhagen architects Entasis were awarded the Karlatornet project (formerly Polestar Tower) in Gothenburg, Sweden, following an international competition. At 245 meters, this inspirational new tower will be Sweden’s tallest building and marks a shift from traditional development patterns in the country. The design is highly efficient, both in terms of floor space and energy use, while still including apartments with views focused on the city and waterfront. The tower 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, a master plan creates a highly animated, mixed-use district totaling 143,000 square meters. Offering a vibrant destination with a range of retail, food, and beverage opportunities, this new neighborhood will act as a catalyst in making Lindholmen the premier north bank area. A series of mid-rise towers will ascend from a robustly expressed sequence of podium buildings, providing context for Karlatornet. 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.
Karlatornet’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 Karlatornet 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.