Bjarke Ingels Group and Norwegian manufacturer Vestre have unveiled The Plus, a new project set to become the world’s most sustainable furniture factory. Sited in Magnor, Norway, the factory was envisioned as a village for a community dedicated to the clean, carbon neutral fabrication of urban and social furniture. The Plus aims to be a global destination for sustainable architecture and high-efficiency production.
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. As the team states, The Plus will be the first industrial building in the Nordic region to achieve BREAM Outstanding, the highest environmental certification. Designed to be a ‘Paris Agreement-proof’ building, the design is based on principles of renewable and clean energy to match Vestre’s eco-friendly production.
Jan Christian Vestre, CEO of Vestre, said that, "Vestre will be the world’s most sustainable furniture manufacturer. Building The Plus will be an important step in reaching this goal. 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."
The Plus is located 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 building is conceived as a radial array of four main production halls – the warehouse, the color factory, the wood factory and the assembly – that connect at the center. At the center of The Plus is the 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 explains 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. Every machine is 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.
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. On the rooftop, 1,200 photovoltaic panels are placed and angled according to optimal solar efficiency. 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.
Bjarke Ingels, Founder & Creative Director, BIG, said that, "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. 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."
Partners-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, David Zahle, Ole Elkjær-Larsen
Project Manager: Viktoria Millentrup, Eva Seo-Andersen
Team: Julia Tabet, Ariana Szmedra, Ningnan Ye, Rron 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
News via Bjarke Ingels Group