Magnor on the world map as a tourist destination for culture and sustainability
The next generation furniture factory is coming to Magnor. When The Plus opens in 2021, we will be able to deliver more, and faster, in an environmentally friendly and efficient way unlike anything that has gone before. The factory, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group, propels Vestre leaps and bounds into the future. A rising tide lifts every boat, and the local area is coming along for the ride. Magnor is being put on the world map.
A destination for cultural history and tomorrow’s industry
Beneath the tranquil surface of Magnor hides a rich cultural and industrial history. The little town in the municipality of Eidskog has been the backdrop for important events over tens of generations. The time has now come to tell its proud history and invite the world to come and visit.
Vestre’s goal is to help Magnor become an international brand and a top destination where cultural history meets tomorrow’s sustainable industry.
Historical surroundings transformed into an adventure park
Magnor has been a centre for travel, manufacturing and trade for more than 7,000 years. Forest dwellers and travellers came here on foot and by horse or boat along the Vrangselv river and settled here. Both Saint Olaf and pilgrims travelled through the pine forests, and even Snorri Sturluson’s sagas tell tales of Eidskog. It is stories like these that will be emphasised in the area around The Plus.
Vestre Forest Camp tops TripAdvisor
Set in over 300 acres, Vestre Forest Camp, which surrounds The Plus, will become a pleasant and attractive park for locals and visitors alike. The area will breathe new life into valuable stories that the surroundings have helped create, and build a bridge between the past and the future.
There will be art installations, historical and educational exhibitions, playgrounds, picnic areas, and a viewing tower. The new bridge over the Vrangselv river links the park to Magnor town centre, where visitors will find cafés, local accommodation and Magnor Glassworks.
Our ambitions for this new destination are just as high as for everything we else do at Vestre. Our goal is for Vestre Forest Camp to be mentioned on TripAdvisor as one of the most highly recommended destinations in Norway.
“Vestre is what you might call a unique company in a Norwegian context, not only because of its international commercial success, but also because it makes audacious design seem almost commonplace.”
Byggekunst 100 år, the centenary edition of Architecture Norway, the main presentation journal for Norwegian architects, landscape architects and interior architects.
From minor industry to sustainable major industry
Like Torsby, where Vestre’s second factory is located, there has also been industry in Magnor for hundreds of years. Magnor is a place name that often crops up in global travel literature in many different languages, and it was by no means unknown to the wider world in the 1800s.
The industrial society was well-established back then, with a mill, an iron foundry, tile works, a sawmill, a clay pipe factory, a kiln, and glassworks. The hand-forged horseshoes from Magnor were renowned for their quality and put the little border town on the Norwegian map.
This industrial history deserves to live on through tomorrow’s sustainable solutions. We use the world’s cleanest aluminium in many of our furniture products, and when we open The Plus in Magnor, aluminium manufacturer Hydro will be our closest neighbour.
More and more industries are moving to the area, and together we are providing more jobs to give people a meaningful reason to move here and settle down among the historic pine forests, and also to come and visit.
Celebrated poet gets his own lyrical forest
But Magnor's history does not stop with the Vikings and industry. In 1918, Hans Børli, one of Norway's most celebrated poets and an important inspiration for the labour movement, was born in Eidskog.
Børli worked as a lumberjack. His poems are clearly inspired by the forest, linking life in the forest with politics and existential questions about faith and doubt. They were awarded a string of literary prizes, and he was granted a war pension for his help in guiding people across the border to safety during WWII.
Together with the municipality, we want to honour Hans Børli, which is why his celebrated and much-loved poems will be available to visitors through plaques, exhibitions and experiences along the paths in the public park.
Spectacular architecture for an open, inclusive factory
Vestre has always believed that if you if you are a designer, it should permeate everything you do. From factories to products. ‘To create nice things, you must be surrounded by nice things’, was the attitude of Johs. Vestre, founder of Vestre, towards design and architecture and how these things go hand in hand.
In the middle of the Vestre Forest Camp with experiences for both young and old, lies the factory. Bjarke Ingels Group has ensured that we are surrounded by beauty, so that we can continue to create nice things in the world’s most environmentally friendly furniture factory. And the world’s most transparent factory.
Because here there are no barriers. In addition to experiencing beautiful nature, you will be able to get up close to the factory and production, both inside and out. The factory roof is open to all, year round, and makes the factory accessible from its surroundings with ramps and stairs connected to the footpaths.
Both existing and new footpaths are being upgraded to universal access standards, which makes the area accessible for everyone who wants to come and visit. Entirely in line with the spirit of Vestre; Public, social meeting places which are caring and inclusive. For everyone.
The Plus is our third factory. Common to all of them is that they are architect-designed. Vestre’s first factory was built in Haugesund in 1959. It was designed by architect David Sandved and was described as ‘one of the most beautiful industrial buildings imaginable’ by Haugesund Dagblad.
This was followed by the factory in Torsby, designed by architects in Snøhetta. An attractive factory where remnants from furniture production were used as façade panels. In other words, there is an architectural theme running through Vestre’s entire industrial history. And now The Plus is next.
See you in Magnor, where the past meets the present and together, we create the future.