Gothenburg, the second largest city of Sweden, sits at the mouth of the river Göta älv and has the largest port in the Nordic countries. It was founded by royal charter in 1621 by King Gustavus Adolphus. Erstwhile a ship-building town, it remains a vibrant, bustling and enviable port city today.
It is best visited in summer when all the restaurants spill out into the streets. Fall and spring could be a bit cold when the winds from the sea come in. But, if the cold doesn’t daunt you and you want to experience the town during Christmas, when it is all lit up and filled with festivities, then December is a nice month to come!
The city is one of Europe’s most sought-after weekend destinations. This place is dotted with Michelin-star restaurants, has a bustling music and art scene, is firmly placed on the culture map of the world and is known for a bohemian coffee-house culture. Popular attractions such as the Liseburg amusement park, dating back to 1923 (and the largest of its kind in Scandinavia) and the beautiful archipelago only add to Gothenburg’s charisma.
Reigning In Harmony
The Avalon Hotel, a member of Design HotelsTM is located in central Gothenburg, overlooking Kungsportsplatsen and its tightly clustered cobbled streets. It is Sweden’s only Feng Shui certified hotel.
Hence, its environs and ambience have all the elements that go into making a place friendlier and more harmonious. The decor, candles, scents and sounds play a major role in the experience it offers.
The upscale hotel has a relaxed and elegant vibe to it. One notices swathes of light wood, splashes of colour and a rooftop pool as well. The design is chic, cool and youthful. Indeed, the marriage of Feng Shui with Scandinavian design comes out in a subtle and yet refreshing manner.
With 101 rooms of varying categories that range from standard and moderate, right up to superior (which have open baths), deluxe (boasting panoramic views), suites and a penthouse suite as well, there is a lot of scope for exciting design.
The Avalon Restaurant & Bar is the perfect place to chill out and enjoy high-quality, international cuisine. In the summers, this space is open to the skies.
Housed In History. . .
What makes Kafe Megasinet special is that the modern upbeat café is housed in an historic and protected building. Designed by Carl Fahlström, the elaborate brick architecture exudes a classicist style.
Modern details such as cast iron beams and pillars are exposed. What was used as a warehouse since the 19th century is now a café, but intact with its original soul. The existing concrete floor, walls and surfaces were dealt with minimal treatment.
The traces of a removed floor structure and electrical appliances are left in the wall surface. Cast iron pillars are painted black. New copper and glass doors are added to the old wooden doors. Untreated plywood, fibreboard and black steel are recurrent materials resonating with the raw, informal characteristic of the space.
A Walk Down History
Haga, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Gothenburg, created as one of its first suburbs, is a pedestrian street, lined with well-preserved wooden houses. The houses are characterised by a ground floor in stone and two wooden floors on top. The typical wooden houses were built between 1870 and 1940, as housing for the working class.
The old neighbourhood was developed by those people who could not afford to build a stone house within the fortified wall of the city. Many wooden houses from that time have been preserved until now. Today, it is
a fancy district with loads of cafés, antique and design shops, exuding the old world charm of the past with the hustle and bustle of the present.
Six shades of red and two shades of green in a glazed terracotta style make up the skin. Each successive floor grows in size and the dramatic cylindrical form gets stronger and more powerful as one approaches the building. The triangular windows allow daylight to follow the ceiling deep into the building. Designed by architect Gert Wingårdh, this round five-story building that resembles a gear, is named Kuggen, meaning ‘cogwheel’.
Adaptive ventilation, adaptive lighting, interactive heating and cooling systems and effective daylighting are some of the eco-friendly techniques adopted. Located at the Chalmers University of Technology the unique structure facilitates the purpose of the building – that of housing offices and providing scope for interaction.
Text By Dhanishta Shah