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Richard Buckminster Fuller

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Wolfsburg's New Car-Swallowing Pavilion

A new structure for the Autostadt

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A new pavilion at Autostadt Wolfsburg, partly the result of Volkswagen swallowing Porsche, has a rather distinctive feature: a curving 25-meter cantilevered roof overhanging a new lake, mildly reminiscent of the protruding upper jaw of a whale.

Designed by Henn Architects together with WES Landscape Architects and HG Merz, the pavilion’s curved stainless steel form, made from 620 stainless steel sheets, was pre-fabricated and welded together at a shipyard in Stralsund, Germany and assembled on site.

And in its belly, or at least down a ramp in the interior of the structure, some of the car-brand’s iconic designs are displayed, both as full size originals, and in the form of thirty silver models.

The building elegantly combines 400 square meters of exhibition space with a curved and stepped exterior landscape that forms an outdoor auditorium, folding generously around and focused on the lake, from which reflections animate and dapple the seamless surface of the building. 

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