One year since construction began
Just over a year has passed since the construction of our third tower and the extension of the East Tower officially began on 24 October 2011.
What has happened during the last year? What inspired our plans? What is Upper House? Will there be a fourth tower?
We put a few questions to the driving force behind our third tower, Gothia Towers’ visionary CEO Petter Ullberg.
Petter has worked at GothiaTowerssince 2000. He started as hotel manager, and is now the CEO of Gothia Towers and Deputy Managing Director of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre (of which GothiaTowersis a part).
Inspiration from Las Vegas
In 2007, Petter travelled to Las Vegas. There he met a man by the name of Eric Bello, Vice President of Sales at Las Vegas Sands, USA. Eric showed Petter a sketch of a new hotel and conference facility, consisting of three towers, which Las Vegas Sands planned to build in Singapore.
“That’s when I first had the idea that Gothia Towers should also have a third tower,” he recalls. “If it can be done inSingapore, why not in Gothenburg?”
The sketch that Eric showed Petter was of Marina Bay Sands, which was completed in Singaporein 2011 and provided the model for GothiaTowers.
The sketch wasn’t the only thing that impressed Petter in Las Vegas.
“Las Vegas is a world-leader within the meeting industry, a trailblazer. They’re particularly keen on the ‘all under one roof’ concept, and that struck a chord with me. That’s the same business concept we’re focusing on now, and the construction project is an important part of that.”
In 2008, Petter took the entire board of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre to Las Vegasto show them his vision for the new Gothia Towers. And the decision was made: a third tower would be built. The turf-cutting ceremony took place on 24 October 2011.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced with the construction project?
“Turning our vision into reality within the cost and time constraints. And then there are a whole lot of lesser challenges all the time, such as coordinating the logistics without disrupting everything else that’s happening. But that’s what makes it all so much fun!”
What has been the best part?
“Seeing our vision gradually becoming reality. During the summer, on 24 August, our new lobby restaurant West Coast (link) was opened. It’s fantastic, and Krister Dahl (GothiaTowers’ Executive Chef) – the motivating force behind the restaurant – has done a superb job!”
Food takes centre stage at Upper House
The next phase to be completed will be the extension of the existing East Tower: Upper House.
Upper House will be a more exclusive section, a hotel within the hotel, consisting of more than 50 rooms. Here there will be a spa and relaxation suite including three pools, Turkish baths, a gym and much more besides. There will also be a new restaurant on the 25th floor, all boasting spectacular views of Gothenburg.
Upper House is scheduled to open next August, and Petter hopes to be able to offer sneak previews in July.
“At Upper House, food will take centre stage and we’ll be launching a novel dining concept. We’re going to try to create an exciting roof – a dazzling work of art over the entire restaurant. And much more… It’ll be really exciting, but I can’t say any more than that at the moment as it’s still a secret.”
Krister Dahl, who was involved in creating the West Coast lobby restaurant, will also take the helm of Upper House’s new dining concept.
There’s so much going on all the time. Is it stressful?
“No, not at all. I feel completely calm and content. You know, I’ve built the entire hotel three times in my sleep. So I know what I’m doing now. Mentally I’ve been in every room. In that sense, I’ve nearly finished construction,” he adds with a laugh.
Will there be a fourth tower?
“Ha! Never say never! There’s been a gap of around 15 years between the construction of each tower, so maybe the fourth tower will be ready in 2030!”
Facts about our CEO:
Name: Petter Ullberg
Work: The CEO of Gothia Towers and Triple Towers project manager.
Family: Wife Anna, children Oskar & Emma and dogs Ida & Thea.
Motto: “What can I do today to make tomorrow better – and have fun doing it.”
Leisure interests: Sports photography, walking with the dogs in the forest, gardening and golf.
Av Lena Johansson, Gothia Towers