After Gothenburg added a LEGO Bridge to its skyline late last year, the city is getting another sky-high upgrade to its transportation system. Dutch design studio UNStudio was selected after a call for proposals was put out to design Gothenburg’s new cable car, which will be inaugurated during the city’s fourth centennial celebration in 2021.
The cable car, which will be designed by UNStudio, will be three kilometers (1.8 miles) long and is planned to be supported by six latticed towers and shipyard cranes for stability. The cable car’s line will connect the transit node for the city’s bus and tram networks at Järntorget to the south of the Göta älv River with three other stations in the north.
Other design studios like BIG, Wilkinson Eyre, and White Arkitekter submitted proposals for the cable car, but the city ended up choosing UNDesign’s proposal for its emphasis on the city’s industrial past with a contemporary twist on it. Gothenburg initially planned to construct a cable car in order to introduce a quicker way to navigate the city while making an aesthetically pleasing addition to the city’s skyline.
For Gothenburg, the cable car will be the city’s newest mode of transportation in more than 80 years since the cable car was first introduced in the 1930s. Ben van Berkel, founder of UNStudio, believes that the tower’s design subtly blend together the rigidity of their engineering with their crystalline design. “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,” he said to Dezeen. “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.”
According to UNStudio, the cable car’s towers will be made from prefabricated fibre and reinforced by steel in an attempt to minimize materials used to construct the towers and the effort needed to maintain them. The highest of the six towers at the Lindholmen platform could also serve as a kind of ‘balcony’ for Gothenburg’s residents to lounge on.
As for the cable car’s four stations, they are being designed to be green and sustainable so as to minimize energy consumption. UNStudio says the stations generate their own energy using Photovoltaic thermal hybrid solar collectors (also known as PVT Panels) which generate electricity and light throughout the stations. Moss at the base of the stations is supposed to remove fine dust particles, nitrogen oxide, and ozone gases from the air and reduce the urban heat island effect by evaporation.
These elements in and around the stations are still supposed to provide enough room for pathways and parks to be placed beneath and around the stations themselves so as not to disrupt any urban activity. A number of benches and “leisure zones” around the stations are intended to allow the stations to organically blend in with the city’s social and urban fabric.