- Petr Herman
Polestar is the premium performance car brand of the Volvo Car Group offering since 2017 a portfolio of bespoke electric cars to answer to the demand of the rapidly emerging electric car industry. To reflect the dynamic nature of this prestigious brand a new headquarters building was commissioned close to the Volvo Car Group headquarters in Gothenburg Sweden. Designed by renowned Swedish architects Bornstein & Lyckefords, the result is a glittering dream veiled in white.
A New Headquarter Reflecting a Progressive Brand
The new Polestar headquarter involves the renovation of an old worn out concrete building from the 1980’s. The new building had to emphasize design and energy performance. “When we were asked to work on this amazing building, someone described his vision of the building as a premium high end concept ‘where Apple meets Hugo Boss’,” says Daniel Nestenborg, CEO of Ferm & Persson AB, which collaborated on the new façade, windows and internal fire protection.
When we were asked to work on this amazing building, someone described his vision of the building as a premium high end concept ‘where Apple meets Hugo Boss’
Minimalist and avant-garde, the building consists of three levels and offers 3,800 m² of office space and development area for up to 200 employees, as well as exhibition and display areas for a number of cars. By design, the building and working environment support cross-functional collaboration throughout and further strengthens cooperation between the Polestar brand and its parent company, Volvo.
A Façade Developed from the Ground Up
Challenges to comply with Volvo’s wishes and requirements were quickly revealed as the existing façade could not carry much load. Typically, modern glazing systems are anchored at the top of a structure, and supported as it runs downwards. In this case, it was necessary to shift down the load to the ground and, as part of a bespoke solution, carry the weight of the façade from the bottom plate, which was as Daniel Nestenborg describes, ‘an exciting challenge.’
The next challenge in the design of the facade came from dealing with the existing building condition. This was particularly difficult as the design incorporates an old building with openings of approximately 3 meters that could not be widened to meet the modern, expansive design requirements with openings of 15-20 meters. As a result, the design responded so that the old windows were designed as crisp, white, isolated ‘boxes’ sealed tight to the outer glass. ‘In essence, the solution acts like a double façade, or exoskeleton,’ explains Nestenborg.
In essence, the solution acts like a double façade, or exoskeleton
In terms of the glass, Volvo Polestar made it clear they wanted a pure white light to enter the interiors without the use of tinted glass or sunscreens. To deal with the issue of solar control and provide the white light quality desired, a white screen printed pattern with 40% coverage was used. The pattern is positioned on the 10 mm of hardened outer glass. A structural glazing curtain wall system in aluminium was chosen from Reynaers Aluminium to be installed on steel, using white silicone for a seamless look. Of the many parties and collaborations involved, Nestenborg says, "It became a very successful cooperation, and despite the implementation plan was extremely short, barely eight weeks, we managed to fulfill what we had committed to without delay.”
Pure and uncompromising, the result is an architectural translation of a progressive brand, reflecting the uncompromising design and technology of the Polestar cars and showing that the sky is the limit.