With the timber structure starting to reveal it's form, we're pleased to reveal the design for World of Volvo: a unique experience center and meeting place for the famed Swedish brands, Volvo Cars and Volvo Group in Gothenburg that puts its focus on Scandinavian landscape, environment, and traditions.
After winning the interview competition for World of Volvo in late 2018, Henning Larsen is proud to share the design for the 22,000 m² experience center as site work has begun in Gothenburg, Sweden. World of Volvo will unite the brands of Volvo Group and Volvo Cars to share the history, tradition, and future of the famed Swedish brand in a single structure. It will be an embodiment of the Volvo brand values and aspirations.
“This project is incredibly special to 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 has given us to the opportunity to explore the profound relationship between architecture and the natural environment.”
“We commit to create a landmark, a new icon and destination in the city centre of Gothenburg. We also commit to gathering people in an inspiring meeting place reflecting Volvo’s human centric approach and perspectives. Our aim with World of Volvo is to deliver a premium experience in a place where we combine entertainment; exhibitions, talks, conferences, and music, as well as food, drinks and shopping says Magnus Wrahme CEO at World of Volvo.
Embracing Swedish Nature and the Right to Roam
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.
The circular form of World of Volvo, encompassing both care of nature and consideration for people, encourages visitors to make their own experience both inside and outside, regardless of whether they hold tickets to the exhibitions inside.
“Our goal was to give form to something very essential to the Swedish spirit. World of Volvo’s circular form, the timber materiality, its integration with the landscape, and, fundamentally, its openness – these things are all parts of a core collective identity,” says Martin Stenberg Ringnér, Associate Design Director, Sweden.
An All-Timber Experience
World of Volvo’s timber construction is at once the most forward-facing and most traditional element of the project. While Sweden (like many Nordic countries) has a long tradition of timber construction, World of Volvo takes a decidedly modern approach.
The beams and columns are built from glulam timber, a wood product that constitutes multiple layers of dimensional lumber bonded by a durable moisture-resistant structural adhesive. Computer-controlled fabrication allows the curved glulam pieces to be cut with a high degree of precision. Rigidity and continuity in the structure is guaranteed with metal connectors that can be hidden inside the wooden members. The floor slabs are made of locally sourced CLT, cross laminated timber.
“Architecture is currently in the midst of a timber renaissance, with new milestones in timber construction being reached at breakneck pace,” explains Filip Francati, Lead Design Architect at Henning Larsen. “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.”
Located in Gothenburg’s Event district (home to many of the city’s museums, parks, and entertainment venues), the project is expected to be completed in late 2023 and open to visitors in 2024.