The burgeoning automotive museum doesn't just showcase the Volkswagen brand itself, but the entire Volkswagen Group. Now that Porsche is joining the fold, it's getting a pavilion at Autostadt, too.
Housed under a matte-finish roof mimicking the silhouette of the 911, the Porsche Pavillion showcases 25 vehicles from the company's history, from the 1948 Porsche 356 through the latest models in the automaker's catalog, all accupying 1,400 square meters of floor space. Students can take part in the restoration of an old Super 308 tractor, and kids can take their driving test in little electric cars, too. The pavilion's opening is the culmination of a project that started ten months ago with the laying of the cornerstone. The full press release is posted below.
Impressive brand experience covering 1,400 square metres
Stuttgart/Wolfsburg. Today, Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG inaugurated its new pavilion in Wolfsburg's Autostadt. The sports car manufacturer's new exhibition building sports a curved and gleaming matt roof design, inspired by the silhouette of a Porsche 911. In addition to 200 invited guests, the inaugural ceremony was attended by Matthias Müller, President and CEO of Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG, and Prof. Dr. Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen AG respectively, Dr. Wolfgang Porsche, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Porsche, Volkswagen Supervisory Board members Ursula and Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Piëch, and Otto F. Wachs, Autostadt's Chief Executive Officer.
"With its extraordinary design, this building is one of a kind. This new building also possesses a symbolic and historic dimension, evoking as it does the common ties that have closely bound Porsche and Volkswagen from the outset and will continue to do so in future," said Matthias Müller, President and CEO of Porsche AG.
Otto F Wachs, Chief Executive Officer of Autostadt, said: "As the leading global automotive destination and communication platform for the Volkswagen Group, we support the Group's development and provide our guests insights into its brands, values and philosophy. The building of the Porsche pavilion marks the opening of a new chapter in Autostadt history – certainly not the last."
Last October, Matthias Müller and Otto F. Wachs joined in laying the foundation stone of the new exhibition area. Within approximately ten months, close collaboration between Porsche and Autostadt, in conjunction with architectural practices Henn Architekten (architecture), HG Marz Architekten (presentation) and WES & Partner Architekten (landscaping), has created an edifice that is becoming an attention-getter in the park and lakeland setting, primarily on the strength of its innovative design. Emulating Porsche's long tradition of lightweight design, the monocoque construction (French: "single shell") employed the "surface-active structure" principle: the stainless steel roof structure is a self-supporting shell shaping the space within, the statics of the pavilion being relegated to the background.
Inside, curves focus the visitors' attention on the exhibition: centre stage of the pavilion is occupied by 25 vehicle models that take visitors on a journey through the development of the sports car brand. Starting with the 1948 vintage Porsche 356, Porsche is putting on a show of 1:3 scale Porsche models, from the earliest model lines to three current Zuffenhausen sports cars. Thematic films, audio histories and media installations provide additional insights into the brand values and philosophy of the emotional sports car brand.
Automotive theme park guests at the inauguration of the pavilion will encounter Porsche in other areas as well. Vintage car fans can look forward to special classic car models in the glass cases throughout the park. Younger sports car fans also have the opportunity to take their children's driving licence test in one of two electric Porsches. Moreover, workshop participants from schools and vocational colleges will, under supervision, restore an old Porsche Super 308 tractor – a witness to Porsche's history, when Zuffenhausen's product range encompassed not only sports cars but tractors as well.