Röda sten By Mans Larsson, Jonathan Bell, Linda Wallander, Andreas Leassker, Anna Graaf, Karin Hedlund, Carl Molander & ​Janne L

Röda sten

​By Mans Larsson, Jonathan Bell, Linda Wallander, Andreas Leassker, Anna Graaf, Karin Hedlund, Carl Molander & ​Janne Larsson​ (White Architects)

Wood is the perfect construction material for residential buildings. It takes just 60 seconds for the forests in Sweden to grown the wood needed for this building!

Wood technology combined with the site in the harbour of Goteborg makes for a spectacular, fully sustainable building.

It is not only in the largest global cities that densification is necessary. Whilst Gothenburg is smaller than many European cities, the housing deficit is just as acute. It is city built for the motor car with long travel distances and inefficient land use, but this is changing fast with high demand for living space and the introduction of bicycle commuting.

The chosen building is Röda Sten (Red Rock). A disused boiler house converted into an art gallery and studio spaces.  It is located in a former industrial area which has been regenerated through housing projects. There is an establishment of businesses, hotels and restaurants here.

The boiler house is a robust concrete and brick building with a simple form that can accommodate extension both structurally and aesthetically. 

Building residential units on an art gallery makes the space more diverse and more dynamic in a city context. Since Red Rock is only about twenty meters from the Älvsborgs Bridge, the possibility of a connection between the bridge and the boiler house becomes apparent. Currently one has to take a long detour beside car lanes to reach the waterfront. The roof terrace can be connected to the Älvsborgs Bridge with a new timber walkway supported by two lift shafts for the bicycle elevators. The bridge, one of only two connecting Gothenburg city center to the island of Hisingen, will become a significantly more usable commute route for both pedestrians and cyclists. 

The roof terrace will serve as a "pocket park" for public space offering fantastic views of the sea and waterfront.

The new building distances itself from its "host" through the use of an open floor as an intermediary between the old and the new. This floor offers both private areas for residents as well as open public spaces such as a bar and lounge with extended space for the art gallery. A way of giving back something to the building with which it is in symbiosis. 

The existing building is penetrated by a stairwell which is extended into the new building. The new body follows the existing building's rectangular perimeter of 18 x 36 meters.  The new structure follows a module of 3 x 4, 5 meters which also contains two lifts and stairwells connecting residential floors of ten apartments each. Balconies warm the building in a zig-zag formation clad with wood that will grey over time and climate exposure, forming a contrast with the warm mellow wood core they shade and protect.

The balconies create spaces of beneficial micro-climate by use of slender walls of wood and beds of vegetation.​

City Above the City architecture competition

Plan B : City Above the City architecture competition 

Metsä Wood challenged architects and students around the world to push the boundaries of modern wood building design in the urban environment. Entrants from 40 countries created their Plan B to urbanisation using wood (Kerto® LVL – laminated veneer lumber) as the main material. The task was to design a wooden extension to an existing urban building. The entries were designed to 69 cities worldwide.

Explore the designs