Volvo Unveils Mindful Experience Center With Sustainable Timber Design
By Alexa Heah, 06 May 2022
Luxury automaker Volvo has teamed up with architecture firm Henning Larsen to design its 22,000 square meter (237,000 square feet) experience center in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Aptly named the ‘World of Volvo’, the single structure will house brands under the Volvo Group and Volvo Cars to showcase its longstanding history, tradition, and future innovations.
The key concept behind the center’s design is the Swedish mantra of “Allemansrätten,” which believes all citizens share a fundamental right to nature, to roam freely on any land, and to be considerate towards nature and others in the community.
As such, the architects led with a circular façade for the building as a representation of that care and consideration for nature and people, as well as to encourage visitors to experience the structure from both the inside and the outside.
“Our goal was to give form to something very essential to the Swedish spirit,” explained Martin Stenberg Ringnér, Associate Design Director.
“World of Volvo’s circular form, the timber mentality, its integration with the landscape, and fundamentally, its openness—these things are all parts of a core collective identity,” he added.
As mentioned by Ringnér, the construction of the center will tap into the growing resurgence of timber buildings, such as this 330-feet residential structure made out of load-bearing timber wood that’s set to grace the skylines of Zurich.
At the World of Volvo, its beams and columns will be made out of glulam timber, a material comprising multiple layers of dimensional lumber bound together with a moisture-resistant structural adhesive.
Using technology, the wood can be cut into high-precision curved pieces, which will be reinforced by metal connectors hidden inside the wooden beams. Plus, the building’s floor slabs will feature locally-sourced, cross-laminated timber as well.
“Architecture is currently in the midst of a timber renaissance, with new milestones in timber construction being reached at breakneck pace,” remarked Filip Francati, Lead Design Architect.
“But despite strides in structural development, aesthetic expression hasn’t kept pace. World of Volvo has been an exciting opportunity to push the boundaries and we hope that it can set a new standard for the many ways we can use timber in architecture.”
The project is scheduled to be completed in late 2023, and will be open to visitors in 2024.
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