In the Lindholmen area of Hisingen in Gothenburg, the construction of Karlatornet is in full swing. The upcoming skyscraper will be a towering part of the new area Karlastaden and not least the whole of Gothenburg. When Karlatornet, which will have 73 floors, is completed in 2024, it will become the Nordic region’s tallest building, at 246 metres. However, prospective residents will be able to move in already at the end of 2023.

Currently, Turning Torso (completed in 2005) in Västra Hamnen in Malmö is the tallest building in the Nordic countries, at 190.4 metres. Next September, Karlatornet is scheduled to surpass Malmö’s skyscraper. Already in May 2022, it became the tallest building in Gothenburg.

The founder behind the project, Ola Serneke from Serneke Invest, recently told the local newspaper Hela Hisingen: “I have worked with the project since 2004, and there have been an enormous number of issues that have been addressed during this time. I have lived with the project for almost 20 years, so for me it is a wonderful feeling to see the tower quickly rise towards the clouds – and reach its halfway point.”

In addition to the 611 apartments, Karlatornet will be connected to a Clarion Hotel with approximately 300 rooms and 8,000-square-metres for conference facilities and shops. There will also be a lookout point – a usual addition to buildings of this stature. Currently, the most expensive apartment for sale (six rooms on the 71st floor) costs just under 64 million SEK.

The motivation behind the project

Johan Live, public relations manager at Serneke Group AB, explains the motivation and background for the project. “The main motive for the project is to create an entire district (Karlastaden) in an area that has previously been an industrial shipyard area, but which for a long time has been quite dilapidated and unused. Given the location, which is very central, it is an opportunity to add something new to the city: a unique 24/7 district, as well as 2,000 much-needed apartments.”

Lindholmen today is a living cluster for tech and vehicle development, as well as education. “When we now add housing and a vibrant city life, this part of Gothenburg will become even more dynamic. To create a vibrant neighbourhood, it is necessary to have a foundation for shops, restaurants, cafes and services within the smallest possible area,” says Live. He believes that one way to ensure this is to build in height: “Therefore, Karlatornet and a number of other houses will be the tallest in the city.”

Prestige or practicality?

Karlatornet will be the tallest skyscraper in the Nordic countries, but how high is it on a European scale? “There are about 25 buildings in Europe that are taller than Karlatornet’s 246 metres, including in Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom. It may not reach the highest level in Europe, but it is definitely the highest in the Nordic countries,” says Live. “We believe that Karlatornet will mean a lot to Gothenburg. It will be a building that puts the city on the map even more, becomes a destination in the city and hopefully creates pride. There is no prestige in this. Sooner or later, someone constructs an even taller building somewhere. The height is optimised for economic, technical and architectural reasons.”

Karlatornet: The Nordic region’s tallest skyscraper is taking shape

The Gothenburg skyline is about to become even more dramatic. Photo: Per Pixel Petersson,

The project as an attraction

Karlatornet is expected to be a vital city attraction and a foundation for business development. “We definitely believe that Karlastaden and Karlatornet create extra attractiveness for an already dynamic part of the city. Attractive homes in a vibrant district, which will be unique in Gothenburg, will certainly strengthen the conditions for attracting both people and investment,” continues Live.

Meanwhile, he is confident that the skyscraper will be able to facilitate large-scale events like international conferences, in conjunction with its surrounding venues. “There is a hotel building adjacent to and partly in Karlatornet, where the opportunity for conferences will be found. This is in addition to other and larger conference opportunities in wider parts of the city.”

Gothenburg’s role in Sweden and the Nordic countries

The city is strategically located, with the largest port in the Nordic region. Karlatornet therefore has the potential make Gothenburg even more of an industrial, entrepreneurial and cultural hub. “Urban development, at all levels – both through housing and infrastructure – is a prerequisite for growth in the business community. During the entire planning of the district, we have had a strong collaboration with the city, and of course we see the Karlatornet’s role in a larger perspective as one that strengthens the city’s strategic opportunities in the Nordic region,” says Live.

“So far, people from many parts of the world have bought an apartment in Karlatornet,” he adds. It’s one of many exciting projects underway in Gothenburg, which is currently undergoing rapid renewal. It’s fair to say that anyone who has driven a car through the city in recent years will have noticed the extensive traffic diversions and road work. Gothenburg is a rising city. Watch this space.

Karlatornet: The Nordic region’s tallest skyscraper is taking shape

Turning Torso is a main landmark in Malmo.

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