Dutch office UNStudio has designed a cable car system for the Swedish city of Gothenburg that will be supported by a network of latticed towers based on shipyard cranes. The design was chosen ahead of rival proposals from BIG, WilkinsonEyre, and White Arkitekter with Diller, Scofidio + Renfro. The new cable car system will comprise one cable car line with four stations and six towers and is one of a number of projects undertaken by the City of Gothenburg to mark its 400th anniversary in 2021.
The cable car system, which will provide fast and efficient aerial transport across the city, will be the first new mode of public transportation in Sweden since the subway was introduced in Stockholm in the 1930s.
For the people and the City of Gothenburg the cable car will provide an alternative form of public transport by way of aerial shortcuts across the RiverCity. Travel times will be significantly reduced with minimum environmental impact, while an efficient and direct connection will be established between areas north of the river and the old city to the south.
“A cable car system can not only provide much needed sustainable transport between otherwise disconnected parts of our growing cities, but by travelling ‘as the crow flies’ and bypassing traffic congestion on the ground, it can ensure extremely fast, reliable and efficient travel for both residents and visitors alike,” says studio founderBen van Berkel. “Although primarily a pragmatic solution, cable cars are also a very congenial way to travel as they enable us to see and experience our cities in a whole new way.”
The 3km long Gothenburg cable car line starts at Järntorget in the historic city on the south bank of the river, where it links to a bus and tram transfer node. It then crosses the river and continues to three further stations in the north of the city.
Inspired by and referencing the steady motion of Gothenburg’s famous shipyard cranes, the six towers will continue across the landscape as sculptures, defining a new city skyline and symbolically connecting the history of the RiverCity with its future.
“The aim of the design is to reflect the robustness of this industrialised city’s past, whilst alluding to its expansive future,” adds Ben van Berkel. “Although the towers are pieces of high engineering, they are also very sculptural, slender and transparent within the urban landscape.”
At night the illumination of the towers is achieved by spotlights that line the inside of the tower beam surface. Light cutting through a gap between structural components creates a thin, sharp line which subtly emphasises the silhouette at night. A daytime scheme of white tones ranging from cold to warm will also be applied. Colour and brightness sensors will track the ambient light condition in order to adjust the illumination to an optimal level.
The stations are not only designed around principles of natural wayfinding and social safety, but also with a strong identity in mind that will make them clearly recognisable as destination points within the city.
Energy is generated by the stations themselves by way of PVT panels (Photovoltaic thermal hybrid solar collectors) which are integrated within the roof structures to provide both electrical energy for lighting and thermal energy to heat floors and stairs.
Architect: UNStudio (Ben van Berkel with Arjan Dingsté and Juergen Heinzel, Ayax Abreu Garcia, Xinyu Wang)
Local Architect: Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture AB
Client: The City of Gothenburg – Traffic and Public Transport Authority (TRAFIKKONTORET)
in collaboration with:
The City Planning Authority (Stadsbyggnadskontoret)
Västtrafik AB , The Architects Sweden
Structure & Engineering: Knippers Helbig
Lighting Design: Licht&Soehne
Visualisations (CGI): Plompmozes