Gothenburg has an exciting mix of historic buildings and contemporary design such as the Gothic Towers pictured above. We have put together a guide to some of the most important sights when it comes to design and architecture.
The Gothenburg Opera and the lipstick skyscraper
The opera house from 1994 is located in Lilla Bommen harbour. The architect Jan Izikowitz found inspiration, not only in the world of opera, but the waterfront location too. The harbour is also where you can get up close to the red and white skyscraper commonly referred to as "the lipstick". The building, designed by Ralph Erskine, was completed in 1989 and stands 86 metres above sea level. The top floor is housing the observation deck Götheborgsutkiken offering amazing views of the harbour and city.
Lindholmen and the northern bank of the river
The northern bank of Göta River (Norra Älvstranden), and especially Lindholmen Science Park, is the place to go for contemporary design. The old shipyard area has been transformed into a modern neighbourhood including offices, a university campus and residential buildings. The most eye-catching feature is Kuggen, "the cog", a colourful round building with triangle-shaped windows, designed by Gothenburg-based architect Gert Wingårdh.
The Västtrafik river ferry Älvsnabben runs from Lilla Bommen harbour to Klippan and offers excellent views of the riverside neighbourhood Eriksberg. Get a seat on the top deck if the weather is fine, to fully absorb the harbour views. In Eriksberg you find the 70-metre high harbour crane – a distinct landmark reminding us of the glory days of shipbuilding. The crane was completed in 1969, making it possible to fix ships as large as nearly 500,000 tonnes. The country administrative board appointed the red harbour crane a historic building in 2012, to be preserved in the future.
The final stop, before the ferry returns, is Klippan, by the Älvsborg bridge, known for the former Carnegie porter brewery and the contemporary art centre Röda sten. The brewery was once among the largest employers in the city, with around 450 employees in 1890. This was also busy times for the sugar cane factory next door. Today the brewery is hotel Novotel and the sugar cane factory Sockerbruket, is for example housing arts and crafts studios.
Typical wooden houses in the west
The wooden county governor houses (landshövdingehus) from 1875-1940 are one of building styles that are the most typical in Gothenburg. They are for example found in the western neighbourhoods of Majorna and Kungsladugård, like around Mariaplan. They are characterised by a ground floor made in stone, followed by a second and third floor in wood. This was partly due to fire regulations. In the 1940s around half of the population lived in this type of house.
Check our 10 architectural must see's in Gothenburg below: