Volvo embraces sustainable design with timber experience center
Following its Quayside project, Henning Larsen Architects continues its enthusiastic use of sustainable timber construction techniques with a new experience center designed for automaker Volvo. Named World of Volvo, the building will take the form of three tree-trunk-like structures embedded into a heavily landscaped plot.
World of Volvo will be located in Gothenburg, Sweden, and will measure 22,000 sq m (roughly 236,000 sq ft). It will host a main exhibition area detailing the history of the Volvo Group and Volvo Cars, and will include a collection of immaculate classic cars, exhibition areas, a bar, restaurant, conference center and a workspace.
The timber tree-trunk-like structures that will form the main body of the building will be wrapped in a curved glazed facade, ensuring maximum daylight inside and providing a close connection with the landscaped plot. Indeed, the overarching idea is to embrace Swedish nature, as shown in the remarkably realistic renders provided.
"World of Volvo is designed around the Swedish concept of 'Allemansrätten,' denoting the fundamental right that all citizens share to nature: the right to roam freely on any land (public or private), showing consideration for nature and for others," explained Henning Larsen Architects. "This tenet has become not just a right, but a central part of the Swedish ethos and one that lives in citizens, businesses, and organizations alike – Volvo included.
"The large landscape that surrounds the building brings the nature of Sweden to the center of Gothenburg, covering the area in delicate flowers and native plants that bloom between, rocky outcroppings and meandering paths. And just like in the landscapes across the country, visitors are encouraged to inhabit the landscape however they like, keeping in mind the principle of Allemansrätten: leave no trace."
World of Volvo will be mostly constructed using glued laminated timber (glulam) sections, which will be joined together by metal connectors, plus cross-laminated timber (CLT) will be used to create the floor slabs.
The project is already underway and the first glulam beam has been put into place. The massive 35 m (114 ft) beam required two cranes to position correctly and had to be carried out at nighttime, so that parts of the street could be closed with minimal disruption.
World of Volvo is expected to be completed in late 2023 and will open to visitors in 2024. The project is slated for the LEED Gold green building standard.