Polestar Reimagines Retail With a Car Showroom Built Out of Snow 

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The Arctic Circle city of Rovaniemi, Finland is known for a few things: the mythical home of Santa Claus, stunning wintry landscapes and Modernist designs by influential architect Alvar Aalto. The latter two are the inspiration behind an unusual design project from electric car brand Polestar.

The company reimagined a car showroom by building a pop-up retail space out of locally sourced snow. Titled the Polestar Snow Space, it comprises a 39-foot (12-meter)-high white cube constructed using 3,000 cubic meters of snow from the nearby Ounasvaara ski resort. Inside the two-meter-thick snow walls, the Polestar 2 is on display, with some of the vehicle’s details such as rims, suspensions and brakes crafted as ice sculptures by local artists.

Open to the public until Feb. 26, the space is inspired by Polestar’s minimalistic approach to design and resembles its global headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden. It is located in Rovaniemi’s Kansalaistori square, near several iconic buildings designed by Aalt, and will later be showcased during Arctic Design Week in March. 

Polestar Snow Space is located in an Arctic Circle city known for its Modernist designsPolestar

The building is a demonstration of sustainable design as well as the use of circular materials. After it closes, Polestar will return the snow to the slopes. 

Evolving physical spaces

The snow pop-up is one of approximately 130 Polestar Spaces worldwide, where the brand allows customers to experience and test-drive its electric cars. Martin Österberg, head of marketing for Polestar Finland, told Adweek that the brand sees its spaces as an important part of the online purchase journey–even as some industry naysayers have heralded the end of physical retail. 

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Polestar still considers physical retail to be an important part of the customer journeyPolestar

“I don’t think retail spaces are dying–rather, they’re in the process of evolving,” he explained. “Our Polestar Spaces are made with the customer in mind: you get to explore the car at your own pace and ask help from a specialist, rather than a salesperson, when needed. Polestar Spaces were created on the idea that buying a car is as fun as owning it, so visiting our retail spaces has always been part of the experience of buying a Polestar. Snow Space just takes this idea a step further.”

This isn’t the first time that Polestar has reinvented one of its retail spaces. Last summer in the south of Finland, the brand built a modern treehouse, which was originally a submission for the 2021 Polestar Design Contest by Finnish designer Kristian Talvitie. 

Polestar said in November that it is setting up an in-house creative agency. Its in-house architects designed the Snow Space, while Finnish company Frozen Innovation built it. 

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