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Ascending Levels
A terraced hybrid landscape guiding water into a new hydrosocial neighbourhood

Olle Bergström, Elsa Jansson, Julianna Smith & Lionel Torres

Can we as architects create a city that is not only planned for humans, but for nature and water as well? Can we let humans live together with nature, in the “natural” landscape, once again? Ascending levels aims to introduce hydrosocial systems we have established to deal with water overflow and flooding in Gothenburg. 3 different existing systems inspired us: water terraces, veins and the levelled system within the rainforest.


This project demonstrates the value of recreation and bringing nature back into the urban landscape. As urban designers, we aspire for the scheme to become an attractive place for the citizens of Gothenburg - especially on rainy days. The flow of water within the terrain will awaken the senses of the visitors, such as listening to the water flow and the nature surrounding it, the smell of locally farmed greenery and the views reminding of the highlands where mountains surround a valley of streams. 


Olle Bergström

Reinvention tries to reimagine ways of designing new neighborhoods considering nature as a part of the system. Lagerhuset is now located on an island, exposed to weather and wind, in the middle of a wetland that requires a new type of urban life in order to coincide healthily together with wildlife. The investigation reinvents the building considering both the historical aspects of something former and according to evolving needs of the city. Lagerhuset was designed as a gateway for goods to enter Gothenburg. In its new setting, Lagerhuset and the island upon which it stands once again acts as a gateway for nature to reach Göta Älv and for people to gain access to the water.

Nature’s perspective 

Elsa Jansson

This individual project aims to increase the resolution of the group project through nature’s perspective. Humans are a part of nature and not higher in hierarchy, this part is therefore vital in making sure that the urban spaces and the city also accommodates the rest of nature. Through this perspective, we can then create something new that could benefit us all as we co-exist. The project is an exploration of wildlife in an urban setting and results in two design proposals, one where wildlife and humans can learn and gain from each other but stay physically divided, and one where nature is invited up into the city on their terms. 

The Church of Cultivation

Julianna Smith

This proposal consists of social cultivation landmarks that at the same time works as a caretaker for excessive rainwater. The design is adapted to the scheme as a part of the new proposed infrastructure in order to deal with current and future climate change within Gothenburg. By looking closer into the human scale and thereby the community within the project, the system of a social cultivation became a natural part of the scheme for me. By initiating the project in small scale the outcome became a tangible part within the larger designed urban scheme. Part of the project aim was to apply the cultivation system to the hydrosocial terrain and thereby create a clearer represented vision of the scheme.

© 2023 by Architecture and Urban Space Design Studio
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