Gothia Towers is one of Europe’s largest integrated meeting venues. Now this global venue will become even bigger. This year an architectural competition was held to design a fourth tower with spectacular top floors, a new multi-storey entrance and a terrace. The winning design from Tham & Videgård Arkitekter creates an open environment in which food, culture and events share the space with meetings and trade fairs throughout the venue, adding more dimensions to the overall visitor experience.

“The winner has presented a magnificent tower which is significantly taller than the existing Gothia Towers and will be a new landmark for Gothenburg,” says Carin Kindbom, President and CEO of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre / Gothia Towers. +One includes a new inviting entrance which smudges the boundary between outdoors and indoors. “We’re immensely proud to have this opportunity to further strengthen our international appeal and generate new value for the city of Gothenburg.”

The assessment team included representatives from the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Foundation, Architects Sweden and the City of Gothenburg. Other expert representatives also took part in the evaluation process, which started when the competition was announced nearly a year ago. The contestants had the task of designing a fourth tower containing about 400 hotel rooms, meeting spaces, restaurants, offices and a terrace with room for up to 1,200 guests to mingle.

“The selection and adjudication process was thorough and exacting, and four outstanding entries went to the final,” says Roger Holtback, chairman of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Foundation. “The contestants’ task was to design an integrated and innovative building of high quality in terms of both architectural design and practicability, with clear ties to our history and urban environment. The choice fell unanimously on Tham & Videgård, to whom we extend our warmest thanks and congratulations.”

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Excerpt from the assessment team’s statement:

“The winning design captures the spirit of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and celebrates Gothenburg as an engaging and exciting meeting destination. The assessment team agrees with Tham & Videgård’s urban development analysis, which defines the meeting between the city and the tower on a scale that is suitable for Gothenburg. Overall, the tower will serve as a new interface between the city and the venue and provide a distinctive landmark in Gothenburg. This was the design that best met the competition criteria with respect to architectural design, flow management and views of the city. The design offers opportunities for creating an open, exciting and stimulating environment integrated with the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre’s activities, where food, culture and events share the space with meetings and trade fairs throughout the venue.”

Bolle Tham and Martin Videgård, chief architects at Tham & Videgård Arkitekter comment: “We’re thrilled that the assessment team unanimously chose our design. +One is an incredibly exciting and prestigious project to be working on for the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre / Gothia Towers.”

“Our vision is to become Europe’s most attractive venue by offering the best overall experience,” says Carin Kindbom. “We need to evolve continuously to keep up with international competitors, and +One will add further dimensions to our comprehensive offering.”

Work on the local development plan is expected to start in 2020

Facts about the architectural competition:
In November 2018, architectural firms were invited to take part in a competition to design the fourth tower and new main entrance of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre / Gothia Towers. Out of 57 Swedish and international applicants, five finalists were selected, of which the following four completed the task:

– Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects (Denmark)
– Tham & Videgård Arkitekter (Sweden)
– White Arkitekter (Sweden)
– Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor (Sweden)

“The design creates an open, exciting and stimulating environment where food, culture and events share the space with meetings and trade fairs throughout the venue, making the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre a more open and accessible part of the urban environment.” Image: Tham & Videgård Arkitekter

The assessment team:
– Roger Holtback, Chairman, Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Foundation
– Christel Armstrong Darvik, Board member, Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Foundation
– Carin Kindbom, President and CEO, Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre / Gothia Towers
– Joachim Hult, Real Estate Director, Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre / Gothia Towers
– Olof Hallberg, specialist architect, ABAKO Arkitekter
– Björn Siesjö, city architect, City of Gothenburg
– Simon Wallqvist, planning architect, City of Gothenburg
– Karolina Keyzer, formerly city architect in Stockholm, architect OKK+
– Stina Malm, architect, Johannes Norlander Arkitektur

Captions:
“The project ties in clearly with Gothenburg as a city of events, and with the local area around Korsvägen”.
“The winning design in the architectural competition for the +One project comprises three elements: an inviting terrace, a tower that interacts with the city and a distinctive upper section.”

“The design creates an open, exciting and stimulating environment where food, culture and events share the space with meetings and trade fairs throughout the venue, making the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre a more open and accessible part of the urban environment.”

Release: Svenska Mässan, Gothenburg