May 14, 2020

Ramboll wins international competition to design timber high-rise in Gothenburg

Together with Danish architecture studio Dorte Mandrup and Bisgaard Landscape, Ramboll will help build the project ‘Kromet’ – a high-rise on Gothenburg’s riverfront – which will be the tallest timber structure in Sweden.

In collaboration with Dorte Mandrup and Bisgaard Landscape, Ramboll has won an international competition to build the high-rise ‘Kromet’, a mixed-use project on the banks of the riverfront in Gothenburg, the second largest city in Sweden.
The high-rise design will feature a remarkable design, meant to create associations to a tree; the building will have a glazed façade, enveloping a structural grid with timber beam and columns and pockets with integrated plant boxes in all the balconies, symbolizing the leaves in a tree crown. The columns and beam will be made of glulam and floors and walls will be made of cross laminated timber (CLT).
It is a 37,500-square-metre mixed-use project, which will be used for a mix of condos, rental apartments, student housing, and co-living apartments as well as offices, auditorium, and cultural activities.
At 83.1m in height, Kromet will be the tallest timber structure in Sweden.
Understanding the client’s perspective
The competition was arranged by the client, Vasakronan AB, in collaboration with the City of Gothenburg and the Swedish Architects.
The project team considers a good understanding of the client’s need a key reason for winning the project:
“I believe we won, because we understood what was important to the client. It was clear to us when meeting the client that sustainability is a true part of their DNA,” says Frank Schwartz, Director of Tall Buildings in Ramboll.
“Sustainability has been a key focus area in the competition and was a driver to achieve LEED platinum in Sweden, including PV integrated glazing, water source heat pumps and rainwater recycling. The active and passive sustainable elements on the project are complemented further using timber in the structure and reuse of materials from the building already situated on the site including the existing buildings foundations,” says Graeme Stewart, senior chief consultant in Ramboll’s high-rise division.
Global timber expertise and local anchoring
The use of timber as an integral part of the design also proved to be a differentiating factor:
“The project has shown that timber structures can give us edge and differentiate us from competitors. It is great to have been a part of a project that really stands out for the truly sustainable principle,” says Riccardo Pedroni, Senior High-Rise Engineer, and part of the project team.
“It is revolutionising – the height and scale of the project – as well as technically challenging. A nonstandard building shape, up to 20 storeys and the specific requirement of a future proof, flexible interiors are some of the challenges we are looking forward to solve together with our partners.”
The collaboration with Dorte Mandrup and Bisgaard Landscape is a good match:
“We make a good team and we know each other from previous collaboration. Together, we combine global expertise with local anchoring, and we have benefited from the experience of our timber experts in Sweden, Denmark and the UK,” explains Frank Schwartz.