It is with great pleasure that we champion HENN as the winners of the WAN Metal in Architecture Award 2015 for their striking Porsche Pavillon at Autostadt Wolfsburg, Germany project- Congratulations!
The winner was selected from six shortlisted projects that were chosen by our jury panel. On this year’s panel were: James Dixon, Associate Director for John McAslan + Partners, Damian Eley, Associate Director for Arup, and Harbinder Singh Birdi, Partner at HawkinsBrown. The judges felt that the six shortlisted projects highlighted a great variety for metal in architecture, emphasising fantastic examples of what’s possible in this category. However, they were all in agreement that there was one clear winner on the day.
The characteristic silhouette is a striking icon within the theme park lagoon landscape. The new brand pavilion of the sports car manufacturer is presented as an organically shaped structure with a curved, softly gleaming roof construction. Curving lines and exciting bends make the Pavilion a dynamic yet reduced sculpture with its physical appearance resulting from the Porsche brand image.
A matte finished stainless steel cladding forms the flush envelope of the vibrant construction, creating the impression of a homogeneous unity, whilst creating a continuously changing appearance depending on light and weather conditions. The pavilion’s entrance side protrudes out for a total of 25 metres above the lagoon’s water surface. Inside the pavilion is a concentrated space which opens out to provide a tangible experience of the sports car brand and its history.
The judges were stunned by the finish of the building, questioning the use of material several times. Damian questioned: “it is metal? Wow. It surprises you that its stainless steel because it looks like concrete but actually it’s metal.” James agreed, adding: “it’s gorgeous, isn’t it? Beautiful form”.
Under the large, asymmetrically shaped roof, a sheltered external space opens up with seats for several hundred visitors, being optically connected to the surrounding landscape and forming its own acoustic enclosure. The architecture and landscape, interior and exterior, roof and façade are designed as a uniform, flowing continuum, while the exterior of the pavilion designed by WES Landschafts Architektur has been integrated into the overall concept of the theme park. Similar to the type of production 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.
Harbinder closely examined the project’s construction process, concluding: “whats interesting is that they have taken a very interdisciplinary approach of design, fabrication and construction of the building which I think is very important and progressive. We should promote the fact that these designers have worked interdisciplinary and disciplines to come to a solution.”
We’d like to take the opportunity to thank not only the jury, but all who entered their projects into this years’ WAN Metal in Architecture Award.