East, in collaboration with R_E_D, were one of only ten international teams to be selected to draw up sustainable urban strategies for the centre of the City of Gothenburg; known as the ‘River City’. When East arrived in Gothenburg, the client group were surprised, and then intrigued, to see how much attention our team paid to the existing place; how documentary of the streets, buildings, spaces and life of the place was used as part of the design methodology. This approach, of finding out what the place is made of, and who is there, is a key part of East’s method of working, and is carried out at all scales of planning and design; from masterplans to buildings.
The prominent issue of flooding, and in interest in the artificial nature of this man-made riverside landscape lead to a suite of water management strategies that addressed this key issue and explored it’s spatial potential. Key proposals included a floating business development on a new lake to deal with the retention of flood water; a ‘naturalised’ river edge to the west of the city, offering the potential of a looser urban pattern to help influence the planning of adjacent future developments – no longer just a grid, but a river edge settlement. River side architectural strategies were drawn up to influence urban forms, distribution of uses, establish density, and reshape an integrated urban condition aimed at relating the distinct and varied urban characters in ways that embraced and celebrated difference and proximity across a more accessible and accommodating river.
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Client: Göteborgs Stad
Project status: First prize. Study complete 2011-2014