Vestre and BIG present »MOST.“It consists of a new furniture factory, a visitor center and an explorable forest of ≈120 hectares. The vibrant manufacturing village is committed to the most environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral street furniture manufacturing, paving the way for future manufacturing facilities and high-efficiency production.
The 7,000m2 production facility, Norway’s largest furniture investment in decades, doubles as a public park and matches the region’s ambition to build a green manufacturing hub outside of Oslo. The structure, built in 18 months and constructed from local solid timber, low-carbon concrete and recycled steel, is set to become the first industrial building to receive the highest BREEAM Outstanding environmental rating.
The Plus is designed as a radial network of four primary production halls – a warehouse, a color factory, a wood factory and an assembly – which meet in the center and intersect to form the “plus” shape. The design allows for an efficient, flexible and transparent workflow between production units and a user-friendly experience for visitors. The entire interior is structured like a flowchart, with the color of each machine spilling into the floor. Exploring The Plus is like traveling through a luminous archipelago where experience and overview of factory activities merge.
“Vestre Energy and Clean Water Center” has an exhibition center where the public can learn about energy, water and circular design, at the heart of The Plus. Vestre staff can handle logistics traffic optimally thanks to a logistics office directly linked to the four production halls. The focus is on a circular public courtyard where the latest outdoor furniture collections are displayed and change with the seasons. The courtyard also serves as a panopticon for visitors and employees to fully witness the factory’s manufacturing operations.
Each wing of the factories has an alternate ceiling corner raised to create sloping roofs that offer views of the work halls and the forest beyond. Sloped roofs are extended along the color and wood factory to allow tourists and staff to walk up and down the building while observing the production operations inside. The four manufacturing units are constructed with 21 meter clear span cross-laminated timber, resulting in flexible column-free spaces.
Visitors and staff will be invited to walk around the complex on all four sides, ending on the green roof terrace. Wheelchairs and strollers can enjoy the winding walk and the pleasure of being surrounded by pine trees on all sides, thanks to an ADA accessible ramp.
Stefan Tjust, CEO of Vestre
“The Plus will be the most environmentally friendly furniture factory in the world. Building The Plus is an important step towards achieving this goal. By using state-of-the-art technology and Scandinavian collaboration, we can produce faster and more environmentally friendly than ever before. In this way, we will ensure global competitiveness through our leadership in environmentally friendly production.
The Plus is likely to become the world’s first project of its kind to receive BREEAM’s highest environmental certification, ‘Outstanding’. An “Outstanding” building is a world pioneer. Less than 1% of all new non-residential buildings will meet this extraordinarily high standard. Currently, no industrial project in the Nordic region is close to outstanding. Vestre hopes to demonstrate that industry initiatives can also be global environmental pioneers with this project.
On the roof, 900 photovoltaic panels are positioned and angled to maximize solar efficiency. In contrast, efficient construction methods and materials, rainwater harvesting systems, heating and cooling systems, green roofs, electric vehicles and other features contribute to lower energy demand by 90% of that of a conventional factory.
The Plus illustrates how advances in manufacturing and manufacturing can help shape future factories and how we experience them. It’s a hybrid between a transparent and open production facility, a public park, and a literal green landmark for manufacturing, proving that production can be sustainable and profitable even in a high-cost country like Norway.
Architects: Bjarke Ingels Group
Area: 7000 m2
Location: Magnor, Norway
Local engineer: Bollinger+Grohmann
Acoustic consultant: Gade & Mortensen
Ecologist: Asplan Viak
Building physics consultant: Norconsult
Project management and site administration: Fokus Rådgivning
Photography: Einar Aslaksen