Henning Larsen designed a timber structure called World of Volvo, a meeting place for Swedish brands Volvo Cars and Volvo Group in Gothenburg. The building features a Scandinavian style that draws from the landscape, environment and traditions.
“This project is incredibly special to us,” said Soren Ollgaard, 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.”
The designers were chosen by interview competition in 2018. Henning Larsen’s winning design won for the 22,000 square meter experience center. The World of Volvo will be located in Gothenberg’s Event district, which is home to many of the city’s parks, museums and entertainment venues. The project opens to visitors in 2024.
The World of Volvo references nature via its arching branches and a roof canopy design. It follows a concept of a mountain and a tree, which represent the foundation and landscape of the building. Meanwhile, the surrounding landscape is covered in flowers and native plants. They are interspersed between rocky outcroppings and pathways. Visitors are welcome to explore the landscape but are encouraged to leave no trace.
Furthermore, World of Volvo is located along Molndalsan, linked to a promenade that follows this stream’s bank up to Gothenburg. The placement of green space around the river was intentional. It serves to connect with the natural space and be accessible to visitors by walking or biking along nearby paths and bridges that link to downtown. Additionally, the building was built around the Swedish concept of “Allemansratten,” the consideration for nature and other people.
Sweden has a long tradition of timber construction. Thereby, this building is made of glulam timber, a wood product made of layers of lumber bonded by adhesive. Computer-controlled fabrication cut the glued pieces with high precision. Metal connectors are hidden inside the wooden pieces for additional rigidity, and floor slabs are made of locally sourced CLT, or cross-laminated timber.
Images via Henning Larsen and Kvant1