Construction of Natrium starts at Medicinareberget


A blast signalled the start of the new building for the Natural Sciences Faculty at Medicinareberget. The name of the building was revealed at the same time: Natrium.

Akademiska Hus had taken extra security measures prior to arranging this unique opportunity for the hundred-odd participants at the construction site. Once Åsa Henninge, Market Area Director at Akademiska Hus, had welcomed everybody to the site the countdown to the blast commenced.

Eva Wiberg, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Gothenburg, started the speeches by noting that this was not the normal ceremony for turning the first sod, but something far more realistic.

– The University of Gothenburg is in a truly historic time and is taking a quantum leap of development with its new premises. Building as much as we are at the moment only happens two or three times a century at a university.

Large parts of the Natural Sciences Faculty will come together in this new building, right next to the Sahlgrenska Academy and Medicinarelängan. The location of the building is strategically very significant. The University Board of Directors decided in 2016 that research and education in the life sciences would both take place at Medicinareberget.

– We have a vision of interdisciplinary spaces that encourage exciting research collaboration. Medicinareberget will be a place where natural sciences meet with medical research and education,” said Eva Wiberg.

Important piece of the puzzle

Hayar Gohary, the project director at Akademiska Hus, described the shared vision of Akademiska Hus and the University of Gothenburg: Medicinareberget will be a sustainable, attractive and vibrant campus environment where the new building of the Natural Science Faculty is the first important piece of the puzzle.

– We are very proud of constructing this building together with the University of Gothenburg”, said Hayar Gohary.

The Dean, Göran Hilmersson, then invited the audience to imagine the future of the Natrium building when the faculty has moved in:

– I'm waving to the study counsellors, but they look busy. There are so many applications to deal with before the term starts. The natural science programmes in Gothenburg are very popular and on top of that we are starting two new multidisciplinary programmes during the year. Fortunately the rooms are very flexible, which makes it easier for us to cope with changes and provide enough space for everybody!

– I remember how many of us worked really hard on this project, but now that we see the final outcome it was really worth all the effort.

A prerequisite for life

Coming back to the present, Göran Hilmersson revealed the name of the building: Natrium.
It was a proposal by the staff and students at the faculty. Natrium, better known as sodium in English, includes some of the letters in the name of the faculty. The element is also a prerequisite for life on land and in water, so it relates to what will take place in the building. There will also be an atrium inside the building, which the name also refers to.

Completion date: 2023

Natrium will be home to about 3,000 students and 600 employees in the departments of biology and environmental science, chemistry and molecular biology, marine sciences and the faculty administration.
The building will mainly consist of advanced laboratory rooms, but will also have lecture halls and offices. The rooms will have a flexible design, enabling them to be adapted to future needs.

Natrium will be completed in 2023.

Here is the press release from Akademiska Hus (in Swedish).

From the left: Hayar Gohary, Göran Hilmersson, Eva Wiberg, Åsa Henninge.

Akademiska Hus had issued earplugs prior to the blasting.

Natrium will be completed in 2023. Illustration: RÅFormat and Kanozi Arkitekter.