Architecture

X marks the spot for completion of green-roofed furniture factory

X marks the spot for completio...
The Plus has significant sustainability features and has been constructed to meet the stringent Passive House green building standard
The Plus has significant sustainability features and has been constructed to meet the stringent Passive House green building standard
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The Plus has significant sustainability features and has been constructed to meet the stringent Passive House green building standard
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The Plus has significant sustainability features and has been constructed to meet the stringent Passive House green building standard
The exterior of the Plus is finished in shou sugi ban-treated wood, which is a Japanese method of charring the wood to preserve and protect it
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The exterior of the Plus is finished in shou sugi ban-treated wood, which is a Japanese method of charring the wood to preserve and protect it
The Plus is located in a forested area in Magnor, in the Norwegian area of Innlandet, and includes a huge 300-hectare (741-acre) experience park
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The Plus is located in a forested area in Magnor, in the Norwegian area of Innlandet, and includes a huge 300-hectare (741-acre) experience park
The Plus took a total of 18 months to construct and was partly built from the trees that were cleared to make space for it
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The Plus took a total of 18 months to construct and was partly built from the trees that were cleared to make space for it
The Plus allows visitors onto its green roof, where they can watch the furniture manufacturing process inside
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The Plus allows visitors onto its green roof, where they can watch the furniture manufacturing process inside
The Plus features generous glazing throughout to maximize the sunlight inside
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The Plus features generous glazing throughout to maximize the sunlight inside
The interior layout consists of four wings and an experience center at the middle
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The interior layout consists of four wings and an experience center at the middle
The Plus will reuse 95 percent of water used during manufacturing
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The Plus will reuse 95 percent of water used during manufacturing
View gallery - 8 images

The Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is often at its most interesting when mixing contrasting ideas and functions into its projects – such as its power plant/ski slope for example. In a similar vein comes The Plus, which consists of a cross-shaped furniture factory that boasts impressive sustainable design features and also hosts hiking and camping facilities – even welcoming visitors onto its green roof.

The Plus, which has just been completed but is shown here photographed late in the build process, was created for Vestre, a Norwegian manufacturer of furniture for parks and other outdoor spaces. The building is located in a forested area in Magnor, in Norway, and is part of a huge 300-hectare (741-acre) experience park with long winding pathways, playgrounds, and a visitor center. The idea is for it to become a popular destination with hikers.

Its unusual form was chosen to ensure easy access throughout and its design is very open and welcoming. As well as inviting visitors onto its roof, much of the manufacturing process can be viewed through the glazing.

"As the name The Plus suggests, the building has been constructed with four propeller-like wings in a geometric shape like a plus sign," explained Vestre. "The factory lies in an area of woodland outside Magnor, near the border with Sweden. Its geometry provides an open and efficient workflow, while allowing all four wings of the factory to be in direct contact with the forest. In the middle of the building is an experience center which gives 360 degree insight into the four production areas – the color factory, the wood factory, the assembly department and the warehouse."

The Plus allows visitors onto its green roof, where they can watch the furniture manufacturing process inside
The Plus allows visitors onto its green roof, where they can watch the furniture manufacturing process inside

The Plus is described by the team as the "world's most environmentally friendly furniture factory" and while that's a difficult claim to verify definitively, we're inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt. It's slated for the BREEAM Outstanding green building rating and is built to the stringent Passive House standard too. It has superb insulation and a high level of air-tightness, which helps it maintain a relatively steady temperature inside. Some power comes from a roof-based solar panel array, and its energy efficient heating and cooling system consists of heat exchangers and geothermal wells.

In a nice touch, during the construction process, trees that had to be cleared to make space for the factory were then reused as a building material. Transportation of materials will be carried out using the electric Tesla Semi, while over 90 per cent of the water used in the production of furniture will be reused. Its overall manufacturing processes have also been improved for maximum efficiency.

"Over time The Plus will make use of several Industry 4.0 solutions," added Vestre. "Examples include self-learning industrial robots, which can give the products their final color coating with the help of object recognition and artificial intelligence. Color changes that used to take 15 minutes are now completed in 30 seconds. Then there are the intelligent scanners which optimize the wood processing function and reduce waste to an absolute minimum."

The Plus is located in a forested area in Magnor, in the Norwegian area of Innlandet, and includes a huge 300-hectare (741-acre) experience park
The Plus is located in a forested area in Magnor, in the Norwegian area of Innlandet, and includes a huge 300-hectare (741-acre) experience park

This year is shaping up to be a notable one for BIG and we've already seen the completion of major projects like the Google Campus, the opening of a greenery filled skyscraper in Singapore, and the unveiling of proposals such as a novel birdhouse-covered hotel retreat.

Sources: Vestre, BIG

View gallery - 8 images
2 comments
2 comments
Nelson Hyde Chick
They will be making furniture few can afford, but those that can afford it will be able to congratulate themselves on the green patina of their furniture purchase.
Johannes
@Nelson Vestre's furniture is for public spaces, parks, gardens, sporting fields, etc, so isn't aimed at private buyers. Your comment about affordability is erroneous. If you delve a little deeper, you'll see that Vestre is putting meat on the bones of their claims about sustainability.