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Gothenburg, Sweden




6 ha


Planning / Urban Design Commission


Assignment completed


Gothenburg's Municipality


Patrick Verhoeven, Martin Arfalk,

Sunna Pfeiffer, Mariada Stamouli, Cyril Pavlu, Shan Jiang



Frihamnen Backaplan

Bridging the social barriers

In collaboration with &Rundquist architects, Mandaworks has developed creative urban design strategies to connect the two growing areas of Frihamnen and Backaplan in Gothenburg. The project is part of ”Vision Älvstaden”, a strategic plan to heal the city trough the densification of former industrial land into vibrant parts of the urban fabric. The plan is part of the Nordic region’s largest urban development project to reinforce the city centre, embrace the water and connect the city.


Two parallel design concepts were developed: "Kvillestråket", a green socioduct for walking and cycling between Frihamnen and Brämaregården, and "Hjalmars Boulevard", a playful streetscape connecting Frihamnen with the Backaplan main square.


In the first concept, "Kvillestråket", a series of urban spaces including a water canal, a small square, a terraced green hill, and an ecological bridge forms a new pedestrian and bicycle connection. It replaces the existing walking bridge and provides a comfortable and safe passage across the highway. The socioduct is designed as a characteristic object in itself, and at the same time builds a sequence of linking places where trees, plantings, colours, and the lighting interact to create a safe and interesting landscape of water, movement, and cultural activity. The Socioduct is more than a bridge, with space for both biological stepping stones and social interaction, aiming to keep the landscape together and connect communities.


The concept “Hjalmars Boulevard” is based on three different urban systems - a vibrant streetscape, a cultural hub, and a green-blue landscape. An additional built program is proposed under the highway bridge to focus public movement and activate the street edges. Temporary pavilions for creative activities are added in the open spaces, surrounded by ecological nodes for water retention, pollination, shade, and spacial quality. The holistic approach serves to weave the complex traffic point into a linking space with playful design and collaborative programming. The idea also serves to show a long term vision to transform the site from a car-dominated area into a lively part of the urban fabric by visually, spatially and socially interweaving them with the urban system and the city network on the larger scale.

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P01-133 Frihamnen Backaplan_Diagram Axo
P01-133 Frihamnen Backaplan_Diagram Axo
P01-133 Frihamnen Backaplan_Diagram Axo

The current situation

The current situation with the Kville brook, the pedestrian bridge and the Jubilee park which has begun to expand.


In 2022, the tram with possible stops and the sociodukt's bridge is planned to be built.


In 2030, the commuter bike lanes, Lindholmsallén and new blocks are completed.

P01-133 Frihamnen Backaplan_Diagram Axo


The condition of the planning area in 2030.

P01-133 Frihamnen Backaplan_Diagram Axo
P01-133 Frihamnen Backaplan_Diagram Axo

Missing link

The place is located between two important parks: Jublieumsparken and Kvillebäcken.

New connection

The idea is to create a 'socioduct': a bridge that also functions as a place with social and ecological qualities

P01-133 Frihamnen Backaplan_Plan

Illustration plan

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Piece of infrastructure as a connecting social link

The new pedestrian and bicycle bridge connects two separated parts of the site and proposes various spaces for interaction.

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The visual connection to Jubileumsparken

Wide pedestrian and biking spaces combined with playful seating, shading trees, flowering plants and open views over Frihamnen.

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The layers of the new connection

The different layers  -bridge, light, landscape and vegetation, pavement, events and space, are linked together into one cohesive urban element, forming a new social and spatial link of the new urban district.

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The view of Kvillestråket towars Lindholmsallén

The inclusive public space with buzzing atmosphere during the whole day and different seasons, allowing for various encounters to take place.

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