Architectural Design Competition for the Gothenburg Cable Car
The Winner Is New Beacons – UNStudio,
Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture AB
in collaboration with Knippers & Helbig Berlin, Licht&Soehne
After deliberation, the jury has decided that the New Beacons proposal most convincingly unites architectonic excellence with functional requirements. New Beacons is a sensitively presented proposal that combines poetry and playfulness with flexibility and development potential.
The proposal presents a sound analysis and a thoroughly worked-out design concept for towers and stations alike, of which the tower design is the more convincing, and demonstrates the possibility for variations on a theme.
What will the winning team receive?
Prize money in the amount of SEK 1 million.
The winner of the competition will be engaged to develop their proposal into a design program that will serve as the point of departure for the detailed project plans. The winner will also be engaged to serve on the design committee for the project and to be an advisor to the client on design matters during the detailed planning phase.
Why a design competition?
The planned cable car will alter the cityscape, both close-up and from afar. Therefore, the City has determined that the cable car design and its relationship to the surrounding buildings are of great significance.
One important goal is for the cable car as a whole to appear as a well-thought part of the urban landscape. The towerform, with its cables and gondolas, needs to harmonize with the topography of the city: its diverse natural landscapes and urban organization, as well as both existing buildings and planned urban development.
The aim has been to elicit a functional concept for the design of the cable car and associated structures
with development potential and a distinctive identity that brings a new dimension to its urban context. A secondary aim has been to procure design support for the detailed planning phases of the project.
Who are the competition organizers?
In June 2017, the City of Gothenburg Traffic and Public Transport Authority (Trafikkontoret) invited five architect and engineering teams to participate in a design competition for a cable car for the city public transport net. This invited competition was preceded by a prequalification round and was organized in accordance with the Swedish Utilities Procurement Act (LUF, 2016:1146) and in collaboration with the Gothenburg City Planning Authority (Stadsbyggnadskontoret), Västtrafik AB and the Swedish Association of Architects.
Submitted proposals were put on public exhibition at multiple sites in Gothenburg. They were also published on the municipal website and the website of the Swedish Association of Architects.
The competition task
Invited teams were asked to present a design concept for the Gothenburg cable car that was well crafted, feasible and had the potential for future development. The design idea needed to be malleable and able to work along the entire planned route of the cable car.
The cable car gondolas will be made to manufacturer standards and the competition task included only their outside lighting, as a part of the overall lighting concept for the cable car.
The jury’s deliberations
The jury met five times to review and evaluate submissions based on the stated competition criteria (which were not ranked or weighted in any particular way) as well as the requirements and requests laid out in the competition brief.
- Architectural quality and design
- Function, logistics and accessibility
- Feasibility and development potential
- Sustainability: economic, administrative, environmental and social
The jury considered comments from members of the public as well as reports made by various expert and reference groups, including a political reference group.
The jury’s task
According to the joint rules of the Swedish construction sector, the task of the jury is to independently select the winning competition entry, based on the conditions laid out in the competition brief. The jury then makes a recommendation to the competition organizer regarding the further handling of the competition task.
How much did the design competition cost?
The design competition cost about SEK 3 million.
Will the towers and stations look the way they do in the winning proposal?
We cannot say with certainty today that the towers and stations will look exactly the same. A new detailed development plan is in preparation and the winning proposal will be incorporated into the continued planning process. This is why the proposal needs to allow for some revision without losing its core concept, its main character or its appeal. The competition winner will participate in the revisions. One main contractor will undertake the feasibility study, planning and construction of the cable car (a so-called turn-key contract).
The intent is to procure the services of the competition winner as a design consultant to the client during the detailed planning phase. The actual production of design developmentplans, etc. will not be the job of the competition winner, as these are included in the turn-key contract.
Who submitted proposals?
- BIG, Marks Barfield Architects, Burohappold, Gardiner & Theobald
- White Arkitekter AB, Guy Nordenson and Associates, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, Zenit Design AB, Cowi AB, HR&A Advisors
- UNStudio, Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture AB, Knippers&Helbig Berlin, Licht & Soehne
- Wilkenson Eyre, Cowi
- Foster + Partners (this firm withdrew its entry)
More information about the competition
What are the next steps for the project?
- The feasibility study is proceeding according to plan and should be finished by the summer of 2019.
- In parallel with the feasibility study, the City Planning Authority is preparing proposals for detailed development plans that will permit the construction and operation of the planned cable car. These proposals should be ready to circulate for consultation in the spring of 2018. One important aspect that needs to be addressed in the consultation documents is the envisioned design of the cable car and how it will relate to the city buildings around it.
- During the spring, the Traffic and Public Transport Authority will await a ruling on an appealed procurement decision regarding the project contractor.
- The final decision on investment and construction of the cable car will be taken by the Gothenburg City Council, probably in June 2019.