This Norway furniture factory commits to a greener future
The Plus reimagines the factory typology by merging environment, transparency and manufacturing to create a “village”
Together with Vestre, the Norwegian manufacturer of urban furniture, BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group unveils The Plus as the world’s most sustainable furniture factory tucked in the heart of the Norwegian forest.
Envisioned 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 Norway’s single largest investment in furniture in decades, the 6,500sq-m 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. The Plus is set to begin construction this fall.
“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.” Jan Christian Vestre, CEO of Vestre.
The Plus will be the first industrial building in the Nordic region to achieve BREEAM Outstanding, the highest environmental certification by Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method. All materials are carefully chosen by their environmental impact, with the façade constructed from local timber, low-carbon concrete and recycled reinforcement steel. Designed to be a ‘Paris Agreement-proof' building, every aspect of the design is based on principles of renewable and clean energy to match Vestre’s eco-friendly production, such as ensuring a minimum of 50% lower greenhouse gas emissions than comparable factories.
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 colour factory, the wood factory and the assembly – that connect at the center. The layout enables an efficient, flexible and transparent workflow between the manufacturing units, thus generating the ‘plus’ shape at its intersection.
“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 organisation. 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,” explains Bjarke Ingels, founder & creative director, BIG.
The Plus has the potential to lead as an example for how advancements in fabrication and manufacturing will shape factories of the future. The Plus is BIG’s second project in Norway, following the opening of The Twist at Kistefos Sculpture Park in Jevnaker last year. You can tour The Plus here: https://big.dk/#projects-vstr