A protected tobacco warehouse and characteristic landmark was to be renovated to create modern offices covering a total area of 12 000 sq m. The original character of the building had to be retained while also allowing more light in and applying general sustainability features. In 2012, the renovated Pagoden was named one of the top two buildings in Gothenburg.
Pagoden, which was originally designed by Cyrillus Johansson, is a clear example of 1920s building technology. This is a monumental building, with solid brick sections and windows of tapering proportions beneath an arched copper roof with Chinese overtones. Semrén & Månsson was commissioned to create open, light and modern offices within this historical and antiquarian framework.
For this project, the difficulty lay in renovating the broad building with its small windows to create offices which met modern demands for light and views. The solution: to retain all façades except for one. The south façade was carefully demolished, and then all the bricks were retained and reused as an external layer on an open-web prefabricated concrete façade. It was possible to open two atriums within the section behind the south façade, so providing a functional office environment. We came up with the idea to let in light through a brick wall by studying the works of Cyrillus Johansson and by taking a study trip to Madrid, where we were inspired by a similar brick solution.
This renovation work heralded the start of a transformation of the entire district, a district which in the long term will take on an increasingly strategic position in the new, growing Gothenburg.