Nodi, Office, White Arkitekter, Göteborg
#smart office

Award-winning engineered timber design

Completed in Gothenburg and made of wood, Nodi was named business building of the year 2021. It is another prestigious timber construction in the portfolio of White Arkitekter, the architects responsible for timber high-rise Sara Kulturhus in Skellefteå.

Each storey is bigger than the one below, and the floor plan expands each time. The structure of mixed-use building Nodi extends outwards, serving as passive sun shading for the space underneath and also protecting against weather exposure. Its interior is dominated by wooden surfaces and open spaces. Sited in Nya Hovås, the most recent urban quarter to be built in Gothenburg, the building is not especially large and at first glance it isn’t that spectacular either. And yet this project by Swedish architectural office White Arkitekter has created quite a stir amongst architecture enthusiasts around the world.

Front, Nodi, White Arkitekter, Gothenburg
Mixed-use building Nodi is the new hub in Gothenburg’s new urban quarter, Nya Hovås.

Sustainability at its best

Nodi was named business building of the year 2021 at the Dezeen Awards. “This project demonstrates very good use of tall timber with quite a magnificent execution and a lot of sensitivity architecturally and technically. This is a wonderful example of sustainability,” the jury observed. “There’s something really great about shedding dependency on concrete.”

There’s something really great about shedding dependency on concrete.

Jury, Dezeen Awards

Made of sustainable timber, Nodi also made the shortlist for the WAF Awards 2022, which were presented at the end of 2022 at the World Architecture Festival in Lisbon. Another contender for the award was Sara Kulturhus, where White Arkitekter has set new standards in engineered timber construction.

Facade, Nodi, White Arkitekter, Gothenburg
The overall appearance of the façade is given a degree of rhythm by the irregularly positioned wooden fins.

The secret of Nodi’s success

According to the architects, the secret of their success is a concept that has been well conceived and implemented passionately down to the very last detail: “High-quality wooden architecture that meets the requirements of a modern building, combined with brave choices and a well-run process. That is the recipe behind Nodi’s success,” explains Maria Flårback, the architect responsible for the project at White Arkitekter.

It goes without saying that a timber construction will always be intended to protect the climate. “The architecture is designed to create an inviting and pleasant indoor climate with a low carbon footprint,” the architects explain.

Nodi is the first office building in Gothenburg to be made of wood, and it is one of the first projects of its kind in Sweden as a whole. Wood was not chosen purely because of the climate, though. The motivation was primarily aesthetical, as lead architect Joakim Hansson explains: “In Nodi’s case, we wanted to expose as much of the wooden frame as possible to showcase the simple but expressive aesthetics of wood.”

Restaurant, Nodi, White Arkitekter, Gothenburg
The high, open rooms on the ground floor are fully glazed and enhanced by the visible timber structure.

Local wood inside and out

The façade system is based on a post-and-beam structure. Inside the building, the open layout is given a feeling of comfort by the visible glulam beams. Wood also dominates the interior design of the four office storeys. The office spaces are each divided into four units of equal size that can be joined together as required. Seating niches are integrated into the window façade design.

In Nodi’s case, we wanted to expose as much of the wooden frame as possible to showcase the simple but expressive aesthetics of wood.

Joakim Hansson, architect

Wood is also identified as a construction material by the fins on the outside of the upper storeys. Fitted vertically at irregular intervals, these provide sun shading and create a façade with a special kind of rhythm. The appearance of the building changes depending on where you are standing.

Office, Nodi, White Arkitekter, Gothenburg
Seating niches are integrated into the window façade design.

A new hub

Translated literally, the word nodi means “hub” – and the name of this building was chosen intentionally: Nodi is intended to become a hub for local companies. But it is unlikely to be a building that shuts up shop when everybody has gone home for the evening. Instead, its developers Next Step would like the district’s new landmark to become a social meeting place. The double-height ground floor is fully glazed, and its transparency opens up the building to the outside world. This commercial space is reserved for retail and food outlets.

Views of the adjoining neighbourhood can be enjoyed from the greened rooftop terrace. Here, tenants can use a large shared kitchen area with comfortable outdoor seating. The staff are able to spend their breaks here, or they can round off their long day with an after-work drink.

Text: Gertraud Gerst
Translation: Rosemary Bridger-Lippe
Photos: Åke Eson Lindman
Visualizations: White Arkitekter