World of Volvo is a spectacular wooden design by Henning Larsen


Henning Larsen designed a wooden structure called World of Volvo, a meeting place for Swedish brands Volvo Cars and Volvo Group in Gothenburg. The building has a Scandinavian style that draws inspiration from the landscape, environment and traditions.

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“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 gave us the opportunity to explore the deep relationship between architecture and the natural environment.”

Related: Henning Larsen unveils plans for Copenhagen’s first all-wood community

The designers were chosen through an interview competition in 2018. Henning Larsen’s winning design won the 22,000 square meter experience center prize. The World of Volvo will be located in Gothenburg’s event district, home to many of the city’s parks, museums and entertainment venues. The project opens to visitors in 2024.

Inside wooden structure with white staircase

Volvo’s world references nature via its arching branches and a roof canopy design. It follows a concept of mountain and tree, which represent the foundation and landscape of the building. Meanwhile, the surrounding landscape is covered in native flowers and plants. They are interspersed with rocky outcrops and trails. Visitors are invited to explore the landscape but are encouraged to leave no trace.

A wooden structure surrounded by a pavilion and a pond

Additionally, World of Volvo is located along Molndalsan, connected to a promenade that follows the bank of this stream to Gothenburg. The placement of green spaces around the river was intentional. It serves to connect to the natural space and to be accessible to visitors on foot or by bicycle along nearby paths and bridges that connect to the city center. Additionally, the building was constructed around the Swedish concept of “Allemansratten”, consideration for nature and others.

A structure lit up at night with the steps has lights underneath

Sweden has a long tradition of timber construction. Thus, this building is made of glulam, a wood product made up of layers of structural lumber glued together with adhesive. Computer-controlled manufacturing cuts the glued parts with high precision. Metal connectors are hidden inside the wooden pieces for additional rigidity, and the floor tiles are made from locally sourced CLT or cross-laminated timber.

+ Henning Larsen

Images via Henning Larsen and Kvant1


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