WAN Metal in Architecture Award winner announced

International architecture practice HENN has won the WAN Metal in Architecture Award 2015 for the Porsche Pavillon at Autostadt Wolfsburg, Germany.

A matte-finished stainless steel cladding forms the flush envelope of the vibrant construction, creating the impression of a homogeneous unity and providing a continuously changing appearance depending on light and weather conditions.

The building’s unusual finish stunned the judges, prompting jury member and Arup associate director Damian Eley to say “It is metal? Wow. It surprises you that it’s stainless steel because it looks like concrete but actually it’s metal.”

Jury member Harbinder Singh Birdi, Partner at HawkinsBrown, concluded:

“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.”

The new brand pavilion of the sports car manufacturer is presented as an organically shaped structure with a curved, softly gleaming roof construction.

The 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.

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 facade 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.