With its recognition of allemansrätten Sweden is one of the best travel destinations around the world. Apart from the capital city of Stockholm, the historic port city of Gothenburg offers an interesting destination for an architect. Situated on the south-western tip opposite the Danish territory the city was guarded by multiple fortresses which stand to this day. Completely burned down at the beginning of the 17th century the city was rebuilt with the help of the Dutch which presents a very interesting confluence in the architectural language of the city. Geared up for its quatercentenary celebration in the year 2021 the Nordic city is an amalgam of architecture at different points of time.
Here is a list of 15 Places architects must visitin Gothenburg
1. Älvsborg fortress
The old port city was vulnerable and prone to constant invasion attempts by the Danish empire. The old fortress was built near the mouth of GötaÄlv River to guard the harbor by Adolphus Gustavus in 1621. Later the old fort was dismantled and moved to the island of Rivä fjord. The bare architecture of the island fortress with its five open pentagons shaped bastions has stood the test of time.
2. SkansenKronan / SkansenLejonet
Commissioned by King Karl XI and designed by Erik Dahlberg, these twin towers have been guarding Gothenburg since the late 17th century. SkansenLejonet was completed before SkansenKronan in 1687. The Circular building with a lion adorned roof sits atop the Gullberg hill. Located on Risåsberget hill, SkansenKronan was completed in 1700. With stone walls as thick as four meters, the octagonal building derives its name from the huge golden crown on its roof. None of the 23 canons of the fortress have ever been fired.
Constructed in the mid-17th century as a store for military uniforms and equipment the Kronhuset is located in what is now known as the Gustav Adolf square and is a part of a building complex called the Kronhusbodarna. Heavily influenced by the Dutch architecture apart from its brick walls and copper roof the buttressed build is mostly made out of wood. Despite standing six storeys tall the ground floor was designed with no support pillars which facilitated the unencumbered movement of equipment and machinery.
4. Gothenburg Central station
Gothenburg is the proud home of the oldest train station in all of Sweden which is still operational. Initially designed by Adolf Wilhelm Edelsvärd in 1858 the old station was refurbished in the 20th century by FolkeZetterval to make room for increasing footfalls. Even after subsequent refurbishments, the beautiful stone building retains its wooden pillars, the glass ceiling, and even the limestone flooring from the early 20th century.
5. Trädgårdsföreningen: Garden society of Gothenburg
Apart from the city’s botanical garden the garden society is a wonderful horticulture park founded in 1842 by King Carl XIV. With over 4000 roses of 1900 species, this garden is also the house of Palm greenhouse. Built out of white steel frame and glass this vaulted greenhouse hosts numerous tropical plant species thriving amidst the cold Scandinavian weather. Its sprawling green scape dotted with peculiar sculptures make this garden a landscape architect’s delight.
The neo-renaissance musical theatre opened in the mid-19th century designed by Bror Carl Malmberg. The designer’s original round salon is still intact as the theatre remains functional to this day. The rich white and gold adorned stucco and the paintings were made by the sculptor Carl Ahlborn. The theatre gives a peek into the lavish history of musical theatres of the bygone era.
7. Feskekôrka: Fish church
Aptly dubbed as the fish church by the English, this market was built in 1874 by Victor von Gegerfelt. In an era where churches provided large uninterrupted congregational spaces the designer’s audacious plan borrowed the form to suit a market place. Inspired from the gothic and Norwegian stave churches with its pitched roof and uninterrupted floor plan, the fish church is the go-to place to procure your fresh seafood supplies.
8. Oscar Fredrik Kyrka
The neo-gothic church was designed by Hugo Zetterwall and completed in 1893. The beautiful church with its red and black striped façade, copper roof, and copper tipped buttresses is a must-visit for an architect. The beautiful stained-glass windows of the apse illuminate the white and golden interior of the church. The church has undergone multiple refurbishment efforts that have restored the beautiful paintings on the inside of the church.
Made out of Bohus granite the beautiful brown building opened in 1909. Designed in the new romantic style by YngveRasmusen the church is dominated by a copper-roofed clock tower. A mosaic of the ascension of Christ looks over the main entrance door of the building while a beautiful mural of the ascension of Christ mural by Albert Eldh adorns the vaulted apse of the church.
The part stone and part brick construction church with its red roof tiles was built in 1914. With its 60m tall copper-roofed tower the church looks over the GötaÄlv River from an adjacent hill. Designed in the national romantic style of Nordic architecture the exterior and interiors are a stark contrast. The interiors are plain white with warm wood-lined vault and ceiling.
11. Gunnebo estate
The 18th-century estate designed by city architect Carl Wilhelm Carlberg is every history buff’s delight. The neo-classical mansion on the estate is one of the best-preserved estates, most of the original furniture designed by the architect himself has been restored. The gothic style gardens just add to the mansion’s antique charm. Guided tours through these gardens and the old mansion will surely take one back in time.
12. Lilla bommen
Dubbed as the lipstick building the post-modernist high rise stands tall on the city’s harbor. Designed by Ralph Erskine in 1989 the structure has a V-shaped footprint and a bright red and white chamfered profile. Apart from its shops and offices, the lipstick has a viewing deck that sits at a height of 80m. The position of the deck affords a panoramic view of the beautiful harbor city.
13. Kuggen: The cog.
The contemporary structure designed by Gert Wingardh in the shape of a ratchet wheel is an ode to the city’s industrial shipbuilding past. Volumetrically the structure is an inverse pyramid of stacked ratchet wheel-shaped floors with triangular windows. Vibrant hues dominate the façade and the bridges joining the structure. The form and pattern on the façade lend this structure a hint of dynamism which in turn gives us a glimpse into the contemporary architecture of the port city.
14. Gothia Towers
The triple glass towers of Gothenburg boast the biggest hotels among the Nordic countries with its 1200 rooms and close to 11 suites. Situated opposite the Liseberg amusement park the shiny towers with a total usable area of 1,80,000 sq.m are designed by White Arkitekter design studio. The towers completed in 1984, 2001, and 2014 respectively with each tower taller than the older the last tower stands at a height of 100 meters. Connected by a glass bridge the towers can be your best stay in the Country.
15. Allmännabastun: Public sauna in Frihamnen
The belly of this metallic beast is a perfect place to relax and unwind in the Scandinavian weather. With the emphasis on sustainable architecture, this sauna has been designed by Raumblabor, a German architect’s collective. Sitting in the river, recycled metal sheets make up the rugged metallic façade which is a sharp contrast to the warm wood-lined interior. The pockmarked changing room is made out of 12000 recycled bottles. The sauna is free and accessible to all.