Meticulous architecture

by Darren
Meticulous architecture Wolfsburg HENN

The matte-finished, stainless steel cladding of the Porsche Pavilion in Wolfsburg, Germany, reproduces the sleek lines of the sports car brand in an exhibition structure.

Constructed on a lagoon in the Autostadt theme park in Wolfsburg, Germany, the Porsche Pavilion’s curving lines and sensational bends give the structure an iconic silhouette that reminds of the sports cars exhibited there.

Perfectly sculpted by German architecture firm, HENN, the pavilion is presented as an organically shaped structure with a curved, softly gleaming roof construction. The seamless building envelope almost simulates driving with the racy lines picking up speed, reducing their tempo again and sending out additional radii.

Steel envelope
A matte-finished, stainless steel cladding forms the flush envelope of this vibrant structure, and creates the impression of a homogeneous unity, whilst allowing a continuously changing appearance depending on light and weather conditions.

Similar to the monocoque type construction used in lightweight construction in the automotive and aircraft industries, the space-forming building envelope assumes a supportive function. A total of 620 stainless steel sheets have been welded together with reinforcing ribs, prefabricated in a shipyard in Stralsund and assembled on site.

Functional space
The pavilion provides 400m² of exhibition and presentation space. Inside, visitors can get a tangible experience of the Porsche sports car brand and its history.

An elliptically curved ramp takes the fundamental dynamic principle of the architecture and leads visitors down to the presentation area. The exhibition and presentation concept, which combines the evolution, engineering and fascination of Porsche in one memorable image of pioneering tradition, was designed by hg merz architekten museumsgestalter and jangled nerves, a creative agency and media production firm.

Under the large, asymmetrically shaped roof, a sheltered external space opens up to the exterior with seats for several hundred visitors. The cantilevered roof juts out for 25m above the water surface of the lagoon.

Connected design
The outside seating is optically connected to the surrounding landscape and forms its own acoustic enclosure. In fact, the architecture and landscape, interior and exterior, roof and facade, are designed as a uniform, flowing continuum, while the exterior of the pavilion by WES LandschaftsArchitektur has been integrated into the overall concept of the theme park.

Twice awarded
The Porsche Pavilion at the Autostadt in Wolfsburg has been awarded with the design prize Automotive Brand Award 2012 in the category “Best of Best – Architecture” by the German Design Co, as well as the WAN Metal in Architecture 2015 Award, announced this year.

Full thanks and acknowledgment are given to HENN for the information given to write this article.

Design highlights:
–    Curving lines and sensational bends inspired by the Porsche brand.
–    An organically shaped structure.
–    A curved, softly gleaming roof.
–    A matte-finished, stainless steel, seamless building envelope.
–    A total of 620 stainless steel sheets have been welded together with reinforcing ribs.
–    An elliptically curved ramp.
–    The cantilevered roof juts out for 25m above the water.
–    The architecture, landscape, roof and facade are designed as a uniform, flowing continuum.

Caption: The sheltered external space provides seats for several hundred visitors.
© HG Esch / HENN

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