10/02/2012

Porsche Pavilion; Wolfsburg Autostadt

The Porsche Pavilion at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany is a new addition to the theme park expressing the importance of Porsche within the Volkswagen Group family.  The organically shaped building sits in mirrored location to the Volkswagen Pavilion at the central axis of the theme park offering 400 m of space for exhibitions and presentations.  Its characteristic silhouette will become a distinctive icon amid the lagoon landscape of the Autostadt.  Curving lines and exciting bends make the pavilion a dynamic yet reduced sculpture with its characteristics derived from the Porsche brand image.




The design by HENN, captures the dynamic flow of driving with a seamless building skin.  Its lines pick up speed and slow down just to plunge forward in large curves with ever- changing radii. A matte- finished stainless steel cladding forms the flush envelope of this vibrant structure, creating the impression of a homogeneous unity, whilst creating a continuously changing appearance depending on light and weather conditions.




At the entrance the pavilion cantilevers 25m over the lagoon's water surface.  Below the cantilever of the large asymmetrical roof, a sheltered external space opens up.  This space is visually connected to the surrounding landscape, but forms its own acoustic enclosure, providing seating for a few hundred guests.  Architecture and landscape, interior and exterior as well as roof and facade are brought together by HENN in their architectural concept of a coherent, flowing continuum.






Similar to the monocoque construction technology used for lightweight structures in the automotive and aerospace industries, the building envelope forms a spatial enclosure whilst at the same time acting as load-bearing structure.  A total of 620 sheets of stainless steel cladding with welded ribs were prefabricated in a ship-yard in Stralsund and assembled on site.  Inside the pavilion a concentrated space opens up, allowing visitors to experience the sports car brand Porsche and its history, yet, casting aside the conventional limits and restraints to perception.  The elliptically curved ramp embraces the dynamic principle of the architecture and leads the visitor to the lower exhibition stage areas.  The exhibition and staging concept created by hg merz architekten combines evolution, engineering and the fascination of Porsche into an impressive image of future- oriented tradition.