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BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

Norway Architecture News - Jul 1, 2020 - 12:19   1332 views

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG has released design for a new sustainable furniture factory for Norwegian manufacturer Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest. 

Named The Plus, the 6,500-square-metre facility will be the "world’s most sustainable furniture factory" situated in the village of Magnor, in the geographical midpoint between Vestre’s headquarter in Oslo and the company’s existing steel factory in Torsby, Sweden. 

The new factory is designed as "a village for a community" dedicated to the cleanest, carbon neutral fabrication of urban and social furniture. The Plus aims to be a global destination for sustainable architecture and high-efficiency production, as BIG explains.  

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG stated that "as Norway’s single largest investment in furniture in decades, the 6,500m2 open production facility will double as a public 300-acre park for hiking and camping while serving as a landmark aligned with the region’s mission to establish a green manufacturing industry." 

Construction for The Plus will start this fall, as the firm confirmed. 

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

"With Vestre we have imagined a factory that is simultaneously front of house and back of house. The beauty of the factory is the clarity of its organization," said Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Creative Director, BIG.

"Conceived as the intersection of a road and a production line, it forms a large plus connecting everything to everything." 

"The radical transparency invites visitors and hikers to enjoy the whole process of manufacturing while providing the workers the thrill of working in the middle of the forest," Ingels continued. 

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

Designed as a radial array of four main production halls, the facility will contain a warehouse, a color factory, a wood factory and an assembly – that connect at the center. 

At the center of The Plus there will be a logistics office and exhibition center with direct connections to all four production halls. The central hub wraps around a public, circular courtyard where the latest outdoor furniture collections are exhibited with the changing seasons, while the outdoor plaza allows views for visitors and staff to experience the factory’s production processes in full transparency.

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

"Vestre will be the world’s most sustainable furniture manufacturer. Building The Plus will be an important step in reaching this goal," said Jan Christian Vestre, CEO of Vestre.

"By using cutting-edge technology and Scandinavian collaboration, we can produce faster and greener than ever. In that way we will ensure global competitiveness through our leadership in environmentally-conscious production."

BIG stated that "The Plus will employ several Industry 4.0 solutions, such as smart robots, self-driving trucks, and a tablet to manage the entire factory." 

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

Every machine will be assigned one of Vestre’s 200 colors, which spill onto the floors and lead back into the central roundabout. 

This colorful mapping of the machinery creates visual cues that help guide and explain the workflow of the Vestre production facility, allowing visitors to easily follow the production process as if touring a museum.

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

Inside the factories, each wing has one alternating ceiling corner lifted to create inclined roofs that allow views inside to the production halls and outside to the forest canopies. 

Along the color and wood factory, the sloping roofs are extended to form a pathway for visitors and staff to hike up and down the building while following the production processes inside. 

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

The four production units will be built a 21m free-spanning, cross-laminated timber, creating flexible column free-spaces. A 3m-wide service corridor provides the technical infrastructure and the structural stability for each wing.

"On all four sides of the buildings, visitors and staff are invited to hike around the facility and conclude on the green roof terrace, transforming the furniture factory museum into a campus in the woods," BIG said. 

"On the rooftop, 1,200 photovoltaic panels are placed and angled according to optimal solar efficiency." 

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

Excess heat from the panels are connected to an ice-water system for cooling, heat and cold storage tanks, heat pumps and energy wells as a storage support system. Overall, the system contributes to at least 90% lower energy demand than that of a similar conventional factory, the firm added.

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

BIG creates sustainable furniture factory for Vestre in the heart of the Norwegian forest

Project facts

Project name: The Plus

Architects: Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)

Location: Magnor, Norway

Size: 6,501m2

Partners-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, David Zahle, Ole Elkjær-Larsen

Project Manager: Viktoria Millentrup, Eva Seo-Andersen

Team: Julia Tabet, Ariana Szmedra, Ningnan Ye, Ron Bexheti, Ksenia Zhitomirskaya, Jens Majdal Kaarsholm, Ulla Hornsyld, Eduardo Javier Sosa Treviño, Steen Kortbæk Svendsen, Kristoffer Negendahl, Pin Tungjaroen, Neringa Jurkonyte, Magni Waltersson, Cheng-Huang Lin, Tommy Bjørnstrup, Tristan Harvey, Duncan Horswill, Katrine Juul, Alexander Jacobsen, Tore Banke, Frederic Lucien Engasser, Thor Larsen-Lechuga, Katrine Sandstrøm, Jesper Petersen, Kaoan Hengles, Ewa Zapiec, Ariana Ribas, Andy Coward, Andreas Bak, Nanna Gyldholm Møller.

All images courtesy of Lucian R

All drawings © BIG

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