The VW Transparent Factory is so much more than a factory. Yes it is where the Phaeton is built -- but it’s also a story of craftsmanship, innovation and dedication to the city they call home – Dresden.
I never thought Chris and I would find such beauty and excitement in a car factory. We both had preconceived notions that the factory would have lines of dismantled cars, people milling about in lab coats and robots going to work with a few fiery sparks in between… We never saw sparks and the robots were mostly automatic shelving units, that supplied parts by moving around the floor. Our trip to the Volkswagen (VW) Transparent Factory changed all of that. What we did see was beauty, culture and a type of expertise that is only derived from true passion.
Fortunately we were able to go behind the scenes and see everything from where potential owners get to pick out the details of their Phaeton, to where the cars are built and polished. The tour gives you a glimpse into this fascinating world and makes you appreciate the time and dedication that goes into a car created by Volkswagen. By the end of your tour at the Transparent Factory or the Gläserne Manufaktur you will want to be part of the VW family. Check out our experience and photos below!
It's For Architectural Enthusiasts
From outside you see a massive building, set in a beautiful park that is entirely built of glass and surrounded by trees. As you walk closer you still have no idea that your’e about to enter a car factory. Once you step inside, every wall, every detail is meant to arouse your senses. The glass facade seems like a blurred wall, as the elements of the environment is so flawlessly integrated. Every where you look is an interesting detail and something not to be missed.
Even the way they store the finished cars as been well thought out. As each Phaeton is complete, it is stored in their massive circular Vehicle Tower that rises 40 meters into the sky. Of course it’s completely transparent so passers-by can enjoy the view as well.
The Transparent Factory is meant to be a piece of art, not just a production line. They want to reveal their methods and passion to everyone, locals and tourists alike. The whole experience makes you feel special and really makes you want to be part of the VW world.
This Is Not "Just A Factory"
Built in the center of Dresden, the building had the intention of merging culture with technology. They didn't want to be hidden away and instead made the bold move to be front and center, demand attention and ultimately give back to the city of Dresden. Doubling as a unique event space, the Transparent Factory has hosted Jazz concerts, the New York Philharmonic and concerts on the veranda. They are close friends with the cities cultural icons and view their factory as a destination to be seen.
Their commitment to people and the community did not end there, on the inside the whole building is floored with Canadian Maple flooring, which is not only more comfortable for visitors and employees alike -- but also make it feel more like a museum and less like a factory. The building is also completely wrapped in glass, providing amazing views and lots of natural light. It's clear that much thought and effort went into every aspect of the building.
And If You'd Like to Pick Up A Little Something...
If you are actually considering purchasing a Phaeton, the VW Transparent Factory has you covered. Not only can you see the bars being built, but you can also hang out in their customer lounge; Picking out details for your car, relaxing and enjoy views of the park in this space.
Or, for a lot less money, you can simply browse many of the cars that VW shows off at the factory. While we were there, just outside the the entrance was a beautiful, sleek, silver, sporty looking car that caused us both to do a double take. We came to learn that it was the XL1 which is the worlds most fuel efficient car getting 290 mpg. It is limited to 200 cars, has a price tag of $138,000 USD and is NOT for sale in the US…our picture doesn’t do this beauty justice.
For more information about VW Transparent Factory, visit their website