The design goal for the headquarters was to go beyond just constructing a functional office building; it seeks, instead, to create a healthy and productive working environment that would provide comfort and enhance the quality of working life. As such, many of the design features—including the interior furniture—were mindful of its occupants as well as the environment.
A MACHINE-LIKE DESIGN
To reflect the firm’s emphasis on engineering, the architects went with a machine-like concept for the building. Defined by a free-span steel structure that is set outside the building’s main envelope, the Volvo-Eicher Headquarters consists of two interlinked cubes—each diagonally braced to create a sense of stability—and a central 35-tonne spiral steel staircase suspended from the roof via 30-milimetre cables.
The staircase is one of the main architectural features. Visible from the exterior because of the glass façade, it comprises steps fixed with energy-saving LED strips. This machine-like architecture is further demonstrated in the building connectors, each encompassing a series of deliberately unconcealed nuts and bolts, joints, cables, and beams. Indoors, the steel deck that supports the upper floor is also fully exposed.
DAYLIGHTING AND ENERGY SAVINGS
The project laid importance on natural light. The reliance on daylight rather than artificial lighting not only saves energy costs but also enhances the working environment.
One of the key energy-saving strategies is the inclusion of louvres, which are also a distinctive feature of the building design. The louvres were designed and configured to eliminate glare while maximising daylight penetration into the building. As a result of the lourve fittings, 75 percent of the workspaces are lit by natural light.