Friggagatan Apartments

Friggagatan Apartments

Sandwiched between Göteborg’s mainline rail, tram and bus routes on one side, and a main road on the other, traffic noise here is constant. The 452-unit mixed-use Friggagatan scheme shows one way of working with challenging environmental conditions to create tranquil living quarters on busy inner-city sites.

Transformational design

Addressing the need for more single-occupancy rental housing in the city, the majority of the Friggagatan apartments consist of self-contained studios, supplemented by a smaller number of two and three room dwellings. The ground floor offers a range of restaurants, café, gym, grocery store, postal service, kiosks and a hair salon, completely transforming the atmosphere of Friggagatan and its former associations with illegal gambling dens and seedy adult clubs.

Client: Fastighetsbolaget Stigberget
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
Status: Completed 2011
Area: 452 apartments, 3,700 sqm commercial space
Visuals: Mats Ek, Bert Leandersson

All cities are under pressure to provide quality homes by volume; Friggagatan shows that healthy, mixed communities can thrive on difficult inner city sites.

Creating a sanctuary

By arranging the apartments over five pairs of apartment blocks, an acoustic buffer zone was created to provide a refuge from the surrounding traffic noise. The residential blocks facing the rail depot are eight storeys high, while the ones facing the street are six storeys. A series of walkways connect the block pairs at different levels, improving circulation as well as lending interest to the interstitial spaces of the plan.

“Impressive how a lone building has elevated a whole neighbourhood”
Mark Isitt, Göteborgs-Posten newspaper

The façades are punctuated by characteristic bay windows that project outwards and turn towards the south, filling the apartments with light. Generous glazing been deployed throughout the scheme to ensure that all apartments receive a maximum amount of natural light.

A communal courtyard garden rests six metres above the ground and provides seclusion from the bustle at street level. Shaded by the residential blocks, the courtyard is planted with leafy vegetation and trees, complete with seating, play areas and a basketball court.

The roof terraces of the street-facing blocks is another space to socialise and relax, have barbecues, and chat to neighbours and friends. Landscaped with trees, pergolas, timber decking and integrated seating, these communal terraces are accessible from all buildings, and a place for residents to enjoy sweeping views over Göteborg and beyond.

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