THE VOLVO EXPERIENCE
Project category: Lounge & Retail
Furniture: CH07 Shell chair oak/oil/Thor 377 (leather), CH24 Wishbone chair ash/white oil/natural paper cord by Hans J. Wegner
Architect: Erik Stigmar, Volvo
The Volvo Retail Experience (VRE) is the name of a retail concept the Volvo Group launched internationally in 2013. The aim of the concept is "to enhance the perception of Volvo as a Scandinavian brand", and it is being implemented as an integrated corporate, product and communication strategy. Under the concept, all Volvo stores worldwide will be renovated and refurbished. A number of retail stores and showrooms have already been renovated and opened. Under the plan, all renovations are to be complete by 2020.
Photography: Volvo Showrooms in Sisjön, Gothenburg and Kungsträdgården, Stockholm.
LAYOUT & FURNISHINGS
According to the Volvo Retail Experience, "all facilities must be experienced as spacious, exciting, exclusive and luxurious environments, uniquely Volvo and influenced by Scandinavian design." The overall expression in the stores is to be based on contrasts – open in contrast to closed, and warm in contrast to cool. In terms of architecture, one feature will be that the facades of Volvo dealers will be clad with etched glass during the general renovation, resulting in a frosted surface. To contrast with this cool expression, all entrance and window frames are made of wood.
The general aim is for people to feel welcome at Volvo and to feel like settling in. The interiors are therefore in classic Scandinavian style – simple, using natural materials, with good lighting and subdued colors. The floors are covered with oak boards, walls and ceilings are painted white and the furniture, primarily made of wood, is functional and comfortable. The interior is divided into various sections, each with their own identity: The Street, which encompasses product orders, Car Studio and Consultation points, the Living Area, which features various seating groups, the Coffee Bar, the Lifestyle Bar and Kid's Lounge. The Shell Chair and Wishbone Chair have been chosen as signature furniture items throughout, and will be used in Volvo interiors worldwide.
ARCHITECT ERIK STIGMAR, VOLVO, COMMENTS ON THE CHOICE OF FURNITURE:
"Our Scandinavian heritage plays a major role at Volvo. Scandinavian expression is part of this heritage. The furniture pieces from Carl Hansen & Søn help highlight this, and therefore play a key role in the Volvo Retail Experience concept. We seek to avoid trends in our interior design, but want to be modern, and attribute great significance to the finer details. Hans J. Wegner's furniture is renowned for these. There is a tonality in the furniture materials. They are made of wood, they are genuine and long lasting – and they tell a story. The quality experience of sitting in a Volvo has to be transferred to our showrooms – there has to be a spillover effect. This means that the showroom elements have to match what we produce. The CHS furniture pieces fulfill all these requirements. One never tires of CHS design – it grows on you, and this is a characteristic we would like to see transferred to our cars!"