Inspired by the river – the undulating Våghuset contributes to a new expanding district in Gothenburg


Våghuset was designed to represent the heart of Gothenburg, with an undulating façade it blends in perfectly between the water and the urban environment. Both the exterior and the interior represent life and movement, and in 2022 the wavy building will welcome it first tenants. A spectacular glass façade from WICONA covers the building and reflects the city's life with its full-covering glass that runs from floor to floor.

The 10,000 square meter building has 13 floors, and every floor is designed to be customed accordingly to tenants needs and wishes. The tenants will have access to a rooftop with an amazing view over the river and the city. But Våghuset is so much more than an office building, it is a part of the urban development and the hub of the city. The bottom floor will be filled with shops, restaurants and cafés.

Mattias Lind, who was (and still is to some extent) the responsible architect for White Arkiteker, describes that the inspiration is taken from Gothenburg's history. The city was ambitious already from the start and defined the place as a landmark, and high expectations were established that the building would also tell the story of Sweden's largest trading post on the west coast.

"Why does Gothenburg exist?" This was one of the first questions the design team asked themselves, and as the name of the project has already revealed, water is the basic element that built the city. The name also reveals another story, namely the one about the city's iron wave. Sweden exported a lot of iron, and to weigh the iron there was a scale stationed on the exact same place you will find Våghuset today.

Of course, the shape is challenging, it has to be as smooth as waves all way around. It is extremely important that the facade contractor builds with great precision. For an idea like this to work, everything must be in symbiosis - fine profiles, and fine glass that creates a seamless impression
Matthias Lind, earlier architect at White Arkitekter

The building is a BREEAM-Excellent certified, which tells us that a great focus has been put on material, and the creation of healthy working spaces. Even the area itself has achieved a city lab certification which means that the area is part of a sustainable city development - this is the first area in Sweden to receive this certification.

The glass façade is very lively with its many reflections. The exterior radiates and the interior fills up with tons of natural light. The idea with the exterior is to show the resemblance of the nearby water, the single most important landscape element for the city.

"Reality has surpassed poetry," concludes Mattias.

The building consists of a total of 264 arched sections in four different profile shapes that are distributed on the wave-shaped facade and the house's rounding edges at the back. During the construction, there were high requirements that had to be followed throughout the whole process, partly the complex requirements for sound reduction, U-value, Lt-value and G-value.

Likewise, there was a requirement for a proportion of recycled materials and that all materials should be registered in the “Byggvarubedömningen”. WICONA has with the help of Staticus delivered and installed the aluminium facade for the project.

Every project has its challenges. Våghuset has taught us a lot about curved glass and profiles, especially since in this project they are both concave and convex. It turned out to be difficult to find a supplier of the inwardly curved convex glasses, but the most difficult thing was to block the horizontal profiles in the sharp radius because the profiles have a complex inside with chambers, insulating steps and other things
Tomas Bucas, sales manager for the Nordics at Staticus

Further, Staticus explains that they really like this type of creative project where the architecture breathes throughout the building. Every detail is carefully planned through the functional and visual aspect where the place intertwines history with the present.

Architect: White Arkitekter
Contractor: NCC
Metal builder (WICONA facades): Staticus / ACC Glas och Fasadkonsult
WICONA Solutions: WICTEC EL evo and WICTEC 50 facades
Photo: Felix Gerlach


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