All over the city of Göteborg new tall, towering buildings are being sprinkled around, like fungi, fighting over the chance to become landmarks and permanently transform – or transfigure – the cityscape. The tallest of them all is now speedily rising on the industrial island of Hisingen, across the canal separating it from inland and central Göteborg. It already shadows much of the nearby remnants of the former Lindholmen (and more contemporarily: Eriksberg) shipyard. Karlatornet. The new tower of dystopian proportions I prefer to call the Citadel, inspired by the year 2004 video-game Half-Life 2. In which Earth has been colonized by a largely unseen alien organization and its colonial administration is largely maintained in a monstrous steel tower, looming over the old Baltic industrial suburb resting at its feet.
When finished in early 2023 it aims to be the tallest building in Scandinavia with its 73 floors sprawling 245 meters up into the air. A far cry from any contemporary buildings in the area, despite good attempts by other architects and builders.
The images below are assorted and not necessarily placed in chronological order. Once the construction process is done I will make available a more complete, chronological, album based on my casual photography passing by the area.
Given the nearby Geely headquarters building, the Chinese firm that owns Volvo Cars, and the seemingly large interest in Chinese investments and tactical ownership in Sweden I think it takes only so much of a suspicious mind to assume Karlatornet, with its flash and boast, will have a decent deal of Chinese benefactors.
Two snapshots from the search engine Eniro’s handy historical aerial photography feature. Grayscale photo from between 1955-1967 (being stitched together from a database of different photos makes it hard to discern the exact date) and then a newer photo probably from 2017 as construction first started. The area hasn’t changed so much viewed from above. Notice the much reduced railroad track coverage and the totally absent activity around the former shipyard docks.