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Sustainable building competition

The goal of the competition was to generate ideas and design proposals and sustainable strategies and design for a circular consolidation center in Frihamnen Gothenburg. The participants are interdisciplinary teams of students from Chalmers enrolled in the studio - ARK350 – Sustainable Building Competition, in the Master programmes “Design for Sustainable development”

The city of Gothenburg wants to establish a Consolidation center in Frihamnen, handling logistics regarding goods delivery and waste reclamation in a dense urban environment. The competition participants will develop an architectural design, delivering high quality urban spaces and holistic sustainable solutions to the city. The client is Älvstranden, who are responsible of developing Frihamnen, as well of large parts of Gothenburg along the river.

The task the students were presented included these questions: 


What can we do with the consolidation centre?

  • Urban context?
  • Social and ecological values?
  • New services?
  • New concept?
  • Visualize your concept so we can convince different actors
  • View from the bridge, from the boardwalk etc?


The winning proposal is REN, the motivation of the Jury: 

This proposal responds positively to all the challenges given by the Competition. The project shows the result of possible collaborative strategies between the different competencies required. The vision is complex and convincing, the life cycle perspective presented in all its parts is inspiring. The idea of a UCC as an “urban filter” that grows in time along with the development of Frihamnen is clear and leading the project. The Report gives an explicit and thorough analysis of the environmental issues at stake, being technical in the contents yet very clear and pedagogical in the layout and language. The master planning gives value to the developers, indicating possible commercial City Development in the area while integrating the Consolidation Centre in the urban context. The project proposes coherent design for only one plot of the entire area, leaving the rest to be designed separately. The final project proposes high rise residential and multifunctional buildings connected on different levels by public and semipublic spaces. These same spaces are designed for green, gray and blue structures for air and water management. The solutions for the logistics of the UCC gives the best project for the management of goods in the area, maybe lacking future visions of how lighter vehicles and drones may substitute the heavy traffic of today. The synthesis between a strong and pleasant architecture and an including management of the environmental issues at stake when forming the premises for a Circular Consolidation Centre make the proposal to a clear winner!

Briefly about the winner:

  • REN is a development proposal for the Frihamnen area of Gothenburg where it will act as both a Consolidation Center and Regenerative Environmental Node. This consolidation center will not only deal with goods logistics but also handle environmental issues on site such as cleaning air and water and at the same time raise environmental awareness by adding social spaces for education, leisure and housing where nature is embraced.