Architecture design firm Cobe has been commissioned the new Geely Design Center in a unique campus named “Uni3 by Geely” on Gothenburg’s harbor front. It is set for completion in 2022. The new building is going to form the setting for Geely Design’s development of, among others, the new electric car brand Lynk & Co.
Geely Design Center Technical Information
- Architects: Cobe
- Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
- Type: Design center / Office
- Client: Geely Group
- Turnkey contractor: BRA Bygg
- Engineer: BRA Bygg
- Area: 14,000 m2
- Project Year: 2020 – 2022
- Images: © Cobe Architects
The exterior materials are inspired by an automotive universe and setting, where the use of glass and metal in the facade and concrete on the terrain creates a natural connection with the cars that are designed inside. The interior materials are similarly inspired by the softer interior universe.
– Cobe Architects
Geely Design Center Photographs
Text by the Architects
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group (Geely) was founded in 1986, and in 2018 it was the fastest-growing automotive company in the world, with an innovative strategy and a portfolio of brands ranging from the world-known Swedish brand Volvo Car, London’s electric taxicabs, US-based Terrafugia, which aims to develop flying cars for private users, and the only four-year-old brand Lynk & Co, which offers an innovative Netflix-like subscription service for electric cars.
The new design center will be a multi-purpose building that strengthens and reflects the organization’s identity and philosophy, rooted in an automotive design defined by themes such as “personal”, “new tech”, “dark”, “urbanism” and “respect”.
The new design center is no ordinary office building but more like a giant, four-story-tall machine. It offers large spaces with room for constructing clay models of cars on a scale of 1:1 as well as dark areas where virtual designers can work on giant screens in the spectacular design space at the top of the building.
The exterior materials are inspired by an automotive universe and setting, where the use of glass and metal in the facade and concrete on the terrain creates a natural connection with the cars that are designed inside. The interior materials are similarly inspired by the softer interior universe of cars, with an emphasis on light curtains, comfortable furniture, and sophisticated detailing.
The Chamber of Secrets
A core aspect of the design is the relationship between private and public areas, since copying is a major challenge in the automotive industry, as it is in the design world in general, which makes it crucial to prevent prying eyes when it comes to the most sensitive activity of all: the ongoing design of new cars. At the same time, the building should also appear open and welcoming to visitors and locals.
Cobe addressed this challenge by designing the building in four stories, with a showroom on the ground floor accessed via a large public square with access to the waterfront. The middle floors contain canteen, meeting rooms, and offices. Finally, on the top floor lies the double high “Chamber of Secrets”, where Geely’s designers will have a spectacular and completely sealed-off innovations lab. Centrally placed in the lab is a sunken yard, where designers can move car models outside to register how daylight is reflected in the surface of the car. The floor of the yard is the glass roof of the central atrium, strong enough to support the weight of the cars.
The facade is similarly open and transparent on the ground floor and gradually becomes more private towards the top of the building, as black metal slats on the glass facade are spaced closer and closer together in a vertical progression.
Electric vehicles are the way of the future and Geely Group’s innovative strategy and new ideas within this field fit perfectly with our mindset. Lynk & Co’s coming subscription service for electric cars, among others, is a potential gamechanger in the transition from fossil fuels to a more green, energy-efficient and CO2-neutral transportation.
– Dan Stubbergaard
Geely Design Center Image Gallery
Cobe is an architecture firm founded in Copenhagen in 2006 by the architect Dan Stubbergaard. The firm’s projects are shaped by the specific potentials of each given site and insist on generating added value for the future users and the surrounding environment.
Other works from Cobe