Following an international architecture competition, Skidmore Owings and Merril (SOM) has been given the nod to produce what will be Scandinavia's tallest building. Based in Gothenburg, Sweden, the Polstjärnan (or Pole Star) residential skyscraper is due for completion in 2019.

Reaching 230 m (754 ft) high, the Pole Star was one of five proposals in a competition hosted by property developers Serneke that included Ian Simpson Architects, Manuelle Gautrand Architects, Wingårdhs Arkitektkontor, and Zaha Hadid Architects. It features a mostly glass facade that twists and separates into four quarters toward the top of the building.

SOM will also re-invigorate the general area surrounding the skyscraper by creating new park areas, a ring-shaped walkway, and some smaller administrative buildings which sport green roofs. This part of the project will incorporate retail, and commercial spaces, including cafes and restaurants.

The competition judges, which included Serneke and Gothenburg city planners, lauded the attractiveness of SOM's design and said that its understated and repeating facade should be relatively inexpensive to produce.

Though the Pole Star itself is due for completion 2019, SOM has until 2021 for the surrounding park areas to be completed, in order to be ready for Gothenburg's 400 year anniversary.

Sources: SOM, Serneke

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