henning larsen shapes the “world of volvo” circular experience center
work begins on Henning Larsen’s World of Volvo
Henning Larsen Architects designed a circular framework structure for “World of Volvo”, an experience center and meeting place for VOLVO in Gothenburg, Sweden. The 22,000 m² complex will bring together the Volvo Group and the Volvo Cars brand in a mixed-use building with a focus on Scandinavian landscape, environment and traditions.
“This project is incredibly special for us,” says Søren Øllgaard, design director at Henning Larsen. “With its deep connection to Scandinavia, from its landscapes to its architectural tradition, World of Volvo gave us the opportunity to explore the deep relationship between architecture and the natural environment.”
“We are committed to creating a landmark, a new icon and a new destination in downtown Gothenburg. We are also committed to bringing people together in an inspiring meeting place that reflects Volvo’s human-centric approach and outlook. Our goal with World of Volvo is to deliver a premium experience in a place where we combine entertainment; exhibitions, lectures, lectures and music, as well as food, drink and shopping,’ adds Magnus Wrahme, CEO of World of Volvo.
pictures by Kvant1
giving shape to ‘Allemansrätten’
Henning Larsen first won the interview competition for World of Volvo in late 2018. The winning program is designed around Sweden’s ‘roaming right’, or ‘Allemansrätten’, which allows all citizens to move freely on any public or private land.
The architects translated this philosophy into a circular form with beams and columns constructed from glulam and locally sourced CLT floor tiles.
“Our goal was to shape something very essential to the Swedish spirit. The world of Volvo’s circular shape, the materiality of wood, its integration into the landscape and, fundamentally, its openness – it’s all part of a fundamental collective identity,” says Martin Stenberg Ringnér, Associate Design Director, Sweden.
“Architecture is currently in the midst of a wood renaissance, with new milestones in wood construction being passed at a breakneck pace,” explains Filip Francati, Lead Design Architect at Henning Larsen. “But despite progress in structural development, aesthetic expression has not kept pace. World of Volvo has been an exciting opportunity to push boundaries and we hope it can set a new standard for the many ways we can use wood in architecture.
inspired by nature
In addition to its materiality, the design of the experience center makes reference to nature in the arcuate “branches” and the “canopy” of the roof. The concept of the structure is centered on the idea of the mountain (the landscape and the base of the building) and the tree (the building itself).
The vast landscape that surrounds the building brings the nature of Sweden to central Gothenburg, covering the area with delicate flowers and native plants that bloom between rocky outcrops and winding paths. And just like in landscapes across the country, visitors are encouraged to inhabit the landscape as they see fit, keeping in mind the principle of Allemansrätten: leave no trace.
“Our approach brings an element of Swedish nature to the heart of the city of Gothenburg”, says Sonja Stockmarr, Global Design Director for Landscape at Henning Larsen. “The landscape, Swedish quarries and the wooden structure, built with pine trees, moss and shrubs from the Swedish forest, make up the nature surrounding World of Volvo.”
From the mountain grow three vast “trees”, their trunks large enough to contain small exhibition spaces, vertical circulation, sound exhibition and service functions. The open space between the trees is left largely empty except for the sculptural staircases (the fertile soil of the Swedish forest) that connect the level and exhibit objects that dot the ground. The interior space blends seamlessly with the exterior, floor-to-ceiling glass facades creating a seamless transition to the sprawling nature beyond.
The wooden structure has already begun to be erected on site in Gothenburg’s event district. The building is expected to be completed in late 2023 and open to visitors in 2024.
Name: The world of Volvo
type: Experience center and meeting place
location: Gothenburg, Sweden
customer: The world of Volvo
architecture: Henning Larsen
countryside: Henning Larsen
interior design : Nordström Kelly Arkitekter AB and Henning Larsen
wood frame : Engineering and production by Wiehag GmbH
wood frame : interior cladding and facade by Lindner Scandinavia AB
structural engineering: Optima Engineering AB and BRA Teknik
main contractor: BRA Bygg
contractor landscape: Brand BRA
construction To start up: 2022
expected completion: 2023
Cut: 22,000 m² (237,000 sq ft)
certificates: LEED Gold and WELL Gold