The Swedish town of Gothenburg are set to get a new three kilometre cable car stretching across the city. Intelligent design and smart thinking have allowed it to work in harmony with it’s environment, rather than affecting it.
Designed by Dutch firm UNStudio, the cable car has had a lot of thought go into and it’s sleek design is the product of conscious architecture considering it’s surroundings. The initial designs were inspired by shipyard cranes, which is a nod to the town’s industrial history.
Studio Founder Ben van Berkel explains, “The design of the Gothenburg cable car references the asymmetrical shapes of the shipyard cranes and their movements as they carry their loads throughout the day…the aim of the design is to reflect the robustness of this industrialised city’s past, whilst alluding to its expansive future,”
Whilst you could be tempted to say the cable car sticks out far too much to be working with the skyline, the designers ensured several tactics were adopted to lesson the effect. The open structure of the towers (latticed) means you can place paths and parks in and around the bases. The towers’ design means surrounding areas won’t be overshadowed or create unsafe dark spaces at night, or create downdrafts.
UNStudio has suggested that the tallest tower, at Lindholmen quay, could become a “city balcony” providing a waterfront gathering place with spectacular views.
Cables cars, whilst they do change the skyline, create an opportunity for amazing views of the city. I’d much rather be on a cable car gliding over the city than crammed in a busy tube! Berkel also indicates this is what people should be excited for stating, “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”.
There will be six towers connected to each by one cable car line and this will be split between four stations, meaning the new system will connect Järntorget on the south side of the Göta älv river with three stations in the northern part of the city.
The stations have all been given individual roofs so passengers know exactly which stop they are at whilst in the sky. You hope with just four stations in total they could figure it out, but a good idea anyway! Inside the stations themselves there will be “floating” self-supporting roofs enabling people waiting for the cable car to gaze over the city. The stations will have huge skylights to allow daylight inside and onto the platforms.
To ensure they kept their carbon footprint down during the construction process, UNStudio selected prefabricated fibre-reinforced concrete for the towers to create minimal construction disruption. There are also further environmental features such as covering the large structural elements under the stations with a moss culture cladding that can remove dust, nitrogen dioxide and ozone gases from the surrounding air, absorb traffic noise and evaporate excess heat. They will also add solar panels to the roofs to create both thermal and electrical energy to light and heat the
UNStudio have also stated the towers will be lit like beacons at night by shining lights at certain angles, glancing off the metal beams. In the day time there will be changing colours, with light sensors adjusting them as to the natural light conditions.
This amazing project will take some time to complete as you can imagine! UNStudio have predicted the cable car will be ready by 2021, the same year the city will celebrate it’s 400th anniversary.