Volvo embraces sustainable design with a wood 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 in a heavily landscaped lot.

World of Volvo will be located in Gothenburg, Sweden and will measure 22,000 m² (approximately 236,000 square feet). 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 workspace .

The tree trunk-shaped wooden structures that will form the main body of the building will be wrapped in a curved glazed facade, ensuring maximum daylight inside and offering a close connection with the landscaped plot. Indeed, the general idea is to embrace the Swedish nature, as shown by the remarkably realistic renderings provided.

“World of Volvo is designed around the Swedish concept of “Allemansrätten”, designating the fundamental right that all citizens share in nature: the right to move freely on any terrain (public or private), taking into account of nature and others,” explained Henning Larsen Architects. “This principle has become not only a right, but a central part of the Swedish philosophy and which lives on among citizens, businesses and organizations alike – including Volvo.

“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.”

World of Volvo’s interior will measure 22,000 m² (approximately 236,000 square feet) and its décor will display the natural beauty of wood


World of Volvo will be constructed primarily from glued laminated timber (glulam) profiles, 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 in place. The massive 35m (114ft) beam required two cranes to position properly and had to be carried out at night, so that parts of the street could be closed off with minimal disruption.

World of Volvo is expected to be completed by the end of 2023 and will be open to visitors in 2024. The project is slated for LEED Gold green building standard.

Sources: Henning Larsen Architects, The world of Volvo

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Rozella J. Cook