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Competition for the design of a new bridge over the River Göta, Sweden.
Sweden, SE, 2013
client: Gothenburg City
team: Güller Güller architecture urbanism + ZUS + Snøhetta

In a time when cities compete with more extravagant bridge designs, Gothenburg asks the question of “what bridge?” to become the icon of its 400th anniversary.

We believe the main goal for the bridge is to achieve the integration of public spaces on the northern and southern riverbanks into a singular and coherent public realm in the centre of Gothenburg, with the river at its heart. As such, it will truly connect the city and embrace the water, two of the key-strategies of the RiverCity Vision of the Gothenburg city administration.

The bridge is hence above all an element of public space, less of an infrastructure, providing more space to stay and move for the people. It is a “BRIDGE FOR THE PEOPLE”, where you can rest, enjoy the views, and smoothly access the riverbanks and riverparks, providing meeting places and places of shelter from the rain while waiting for a ship to pass.

The grand gesture of our proposal is therefore not its vertical silhouette. The symbolic gesture of this jubilee-bridge is that it is in itself a public space and as such the catalyst and seed to a whole new layout of public spaces on Frihamnen. It creates these public spaces and gives sense to them as a solid framework for the future urbanization. On the south river bank, the bridge reaches down to the river promenade, and towards the central station of Gothenburg as the main public hub

This bridge integrates what is already there - the Göta Älv, its riverbanks, the silhouette of the city and the opera house, the network of public spaces - into one powerful vision for the city center of Gothenburg. And it valorizes and reflects these treasures by its “glossy belly” which reflects its urban surroundings.