Via Landscape Architect Network : Porsche Pavilion, HENN Architects in Wolfsburg, Germany.
“In the beginning I looked around but couldn’t find the car I dreamt of, so I decided to build it myself,” this is how Ferry Porsche’s well-known quotation welcomes and engages visitors to the spectacular world of Porsche – right at the entrance of Porsche Pavilion.
Perhaps in this particular sentence Ferry has injected the whole-hearted philosophy of the brand Porsche. “It realizes dreams. Builds legacies. Shakes up established norms and sublimely violates conventions,” as the world’s most successful brand in sports car racing reveals on their official website, “To this day, nothing can replicate the feeling of driving a Porsche. No other combination of sound, feel, sight and soul connects in quite the same way. Nothing else is simultaneously as recognizable yet breathtakingly novel“.
History and innovation, high performance and exceptional practicality, hair-raising dynamics with comfort and safety – these synergic qualities build Porsche. The matchless automobile with no substitute.
Which of those qualities characterize Porsche Pavilion? Is the pavilion an outstanding architecture and why should you visit it? Find the answers yourself below in the article.
On 12 June, 2012 Autostadt in Wolfsburg celebrated the opening of a new fabulous construction – Porsche Pavilion. Its distinctive silhouette provides a one of a kind, striking, exquisite presence, which can’t be missed within the lagoon landscape of Autostadt.
The organically shaped structure, designed by HENN Architects, can be defined as a dynamic, yet static sculpture with elegantly curved and softly glimmering roof platform, covering an exhibition and presentation area of 400 m2.
Inspired by Porsche
The curving lines and bends featuring the design of the pavilion are inspired by the design of Porsche. Just like the lines of the car, the curves of the building pick up speed and then slow down to end in a seamless shell, representing the dynamism and comfort characteristic of the brand.
A Constantly Changing Appearance
The pavilion’s cladding is formed by matte-finished stainless steel. On one hand, the material envelops the whole structure, giving a sense of unifying homogeneity. On the other hand, the matte-finished surface of the stainless steel reflects water gleams and thus creates a constantly changing appearance according to light and weather conditions.
Following the tradition of lightweight construction at Porsche, the roof structure is a self-supporting shell with a monocoque construction (a structural approach where loads are supported through an object’s external skin). To build the platform, 620 stainless steel sheets have been welded together with reinforcing ribs. They were pre-fabricated in a ship-yard in Stralsund and installed on the site.
Exterior & Landscape
The architecture, exterior and interior, and the landscape are designed to form a uniform, graceful continuum.
The asymmetrically shaped roof provides a sheltered space, offering seats for several hundred guests. This space is visually connected to the surrounding landscape but forms its own acoustic enclosure. The play with water reflections on the roof shell also adds a new intimate feeling to the unique experience.
The Landscape Architecture
The landscape surrounding the pavilion blends lightly with the design concept of the theme park. Designed by WES Landscape Architecture, the park elements highlight the architecture. Soft grassy hills, a new piazzetta with fountain and ash trees connect Porsche Pavilion with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Pavilion.
A perfect detail to the white concrete steps appears in the form of tiny boxwood spheres, the jewel in the crown of the scenery.
Inside the Pavilion
As it could be expected, the interior is no way inferior to the external architecture. The interior elliptically curved ramp immediately brings visitors into the world of Porsche, while leading them to the exhibition and presentation area.
The exhibition is comprised of 28 1:3 scale vehicle models which take guests on a journey exploring the Sports Car brand development, beginning with the first original Porsche 356 from 1948. If you are amidst the most enthusiastic fans, you can even try sitting in some of the present vehicles in the pavilion.
Presentations include media installations, thematic films, audio stories, which reveal insights from the history and philosophy of the remarkable Sports Car brand.
Embracing the Fascination of Porsche
The design concept of the exhibition and presentation zone, created by MERZ architekten and Jangled Nerves, embraces the evolution, the engineering and the fascination of Porsche and represents them in a memorable, but forward-looking way.
There Is No Substitute
Tradition and innovation, design and functionality, exclusiveness and social acceptance. All those word combinations sound like oxymora because for many designers it’s hard to find the balance and combine them, but Porsche has made the exception.
The other exception is the design of Porsche Pavilion. Having implemented all of the characteristics which make the brand irreplaceable, designers may confidently say that as there is no substitute for Porsche, there is no substitute for Porsche Pavilion, either. And if you ever get the chance to visit it, this will inevitably be a once in a lifetime experience.
Full Project Credits:
Project name: Porsche Pavilion
Client: Dr. Ing. H.c. F. Porsche Ag / Autostadt Gmbh
Architects And Lead Consultant: Henn
Principal: Prof. Dr. Gunter Henn
Programming: Andreas Fuchs, Martin Rath
Design: Martin Henn, Klaus Ransmayr, Paul Langley
Planning: Georg Pichler, Hans Funk Florian Goscheff, Katrin Lind,
Birgit Schönbrodt, Yves Six, Wolfram Schneider, Sebastian Schuttwolf,
Quantity Surveying: Paul Lawrence, Lars Becker, Wolfgang Malisius
Construction Management: Wolfgang Wrba, Siegfried Kruse,
Hendrik Noack, Karl Rosebrock
Structural Engineers: Schlaich Bergermann Und Partner
Prof. Dr. Mike Schlaich, Achim Bleicher, Thomas Schoknecht, Sebastian Linden
Technical Building Services: Zwp Ingenieur-ag
Lighting: Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung Gmbh
Infrastructure Design: Niermann Consult
Landscape Design: Wes Landschaftsarchitekten, Prof. Hinnerk Wehberg
Michael Kaschke , Maxie Strauch
Coordination/costing: Claus Rödding
Project Team: Thomas Bohr, Frank Fischer, Rainer König, Axel Koch,
Yushu Liu, Walter Maas, Barbara Tieke
Tendering, Construction Management: Klaus Werner Rose
Frank Bolle, Werner Hüsing, Thorsten Heitmann, Robert Holldorf
Exhibition Design, Scenography And Media Design: Hg Merz Architekten
Museumsgestalter And Jangled Nerves
Principals: Prof. Hg Merz, Ingo Zirngibl
Project Management: Markus Betz, Jochen Zink
Team: Johannes Brommer, Alexander Franzem, Heiko Geiger,
Stefanie Heinecke, Bjørn Kantereit, Fabiola Maldonado,
Marcel Michalski, Marc Schleiss, Jörg Stierle, Christian Stindl,
Sylvia Stoll, Patrick Wais
Acoustic Space Design: Klangerfinder
Design Period: March 2011 To February 2012
Construction Period: August 2011 To May 2012
Gross Floor Area: 1,400 M
Net Floor Area: 1,045 M
Roofed, Paved Outdoor Area: 290 M
Exhibition Area: 400 M
Monocoque: 2,550 M
Weight: 425 T
Material: Stainless Steel Plate 10-30 Mm
Envelope Contractor: Centraalstaal B.v., Groningen
Copyright Photogapher: HG Esch
Awards: Automotive Brand Award 2012 in the category “Best of Best – Architecture” by the German Design Co.