Norwegian design studio Permafrost creates synthetic landscape for Voyah
Mixing nature and technology, Norwegian design studio Permafrost has completed a brand experience center for Chinese EV brand Voyah in downtown Oslo with a stylized, synthetic landscape.
Norwegian design studio Permafrost has completed a 400m2 brand experience center for Chinese EV brand Voyah in downtown Oslo. The project has required a complete transformation of this ground floor space, originally built as a post office in 1940.
Voyah is Chinese carmaker Dong Feng’s first foray into Europe, and they are making landfall in Oslo, Norway, the country with the world’s highest EV adaptation. Electric vehicles have amounted for 78 percent of new cars sold in Norway this year, making the country a natural starting point for new EV brands.
The experience center is part of an overall brand strategy that has been created by Norwegian agency ANTI Hamar. Voyah is a premium brand with premium cars, and as such the space is designed to reflect values like calmness, elegance and subtle sophistication.
The main idea for the layout of the space is an interpretation of Voyah’s brand slogan “Freedom to explore”. Building on the concept of exploration, the floor plan is laid out as topographic contours on a map, creating a stylized, synthetic landscape. Visitors climb the ascending terrain, with different experiences on each level.
On the first level, visitors are greeted by two rough rock sculptures by Norwegian sculptor Knut Wold. Further ascent into the showroom takes the users to the car level where they can experience the production model Voyah Free SUVs as well as a full-size concept car, while the summit offers a look inside the chassis of an EV.
Along the way, visitors may take a rest on a bench next to the custom-made pine tree. This one-of-a-kind installation is made from a natural, weather-ridden pine harvested on an island in the Oslo fjord. Its gnarled trunk invokes the aesthetics of East Asian horticulture, while at the same time being a familiar sight in Norwegian nature.
Visitors are also invited to experience a Chinese tea ceremony in the designated tea room. Voyah takes pride in its heritage, and the tea ceremony is a way of honoring Chinese culture and hospitality.
Other elements of the showroom are designed to subtly hint at the landscape concept. The substantial load-bearing columns in this ground floor space have all been covered with smooth, curved oak panels, transforming the structural elements into stylized tree trunks spread across the terrain.
The walls and ceiling are painted in warm, sandy hues, while the upholstered furniture such as the Allermuir Kin chairs are colored from a natural, organic palette.
As a striking centerpiece, an immense, interactive light sculpture with a diameter of 6 meters is suspended from the ceiling above the cars.
Created by Norwegian multidisciplinary art studio Void, the light installation features 3165 individual LEDs. Between curved, translucent curtains, the LEDs create strikingly vivid, live animations that mimic the magical play of the famous northern lights – aurora borealis.
Brand strategy: Anti Hamar
Light installation: Void
Featured artists: Knut Wold, Caia Leifsdotter