Autostadt atmosphere I
VW Autostadt appearance at International Automobile Exhibition IAA, Frankfurt /Main, 2001
‘atmosphere’ is a metaphor for Autostadt Wolfsburg. The scenario was thus not a copy of the real venue but an atmospheric interpretation of the corporate philosophy. The design concept by 3deluxe focused on addressing visitors' emotional perception. Communicative content was to be “felt” rather than rationally comprehended. The trade fair presentation aroused the visitors’ desire to experience the special flair of the Autostadt on location in Wolfsburg.
‘atmosphere’ transported the qualities of Autostadt Wolfsburg in the form of a special place delivering highest-quality service, a human touch, openness and harmony. The Volkswagen group’s innovative approach was expressed by the use of modern technology and materials, and the application of pioneering design concepts. A white gauze membrane defined the trade fair stand as a sphere in its own right while allowing you to view the exterior and interior in relation to one another. It covered an imposing textile structure extending through the inside of the stand with a complex network of organically shaped segments. Its sculptural form evolved from simulated strengths, evoking a sort of snapshot, a recorded movement.
Before you entered the stand, a holographic ‘infogirl’ turned possible waiting times into a communicative and interactive experience. As soon as an interested trade fair visitor approached the entrance, the projection of the charming ‘infogirl’ slowly materialized to greet him. This humorous and deceptively real image of an apparently virtual being caused people to react spontaneously – in amazement, curiosity and playful, light-hearted experimentation. In the entrance area guests were received at a sculptural service unit made of tubular stainless steel and rotating glass panels. They were served delicate, organic finger-food and fresh fruit juices. The additional offer of wheat juice and purified water enabled them to offset the unavoidable metabolic deficiencies of a day at the trade fair, such as light dehydration and low blood sugar.
After this sustenance, two lounges invited you to relax a while – both places to arrive but also to relax, communicate and meet in. The transition to this more contemplative zone was characterized by a change in flooring surface. As your feet sunk lightly into the springy floor you automatically decelerated and consciously paused. Your perception of the surroundings changed from a unilateral concentration on the visual to a broad-based sensual perception.
In the left half of the stand were the soft seating elements cushioned with visco-elastic foam – partly integrated in the textile architecture, and partly scattered around the room. A rocking mechanism inside the seating element provided additional comfort. The individual seats were separated by glass tables which displayed a sensory controlled sound system. By touching the surface, illuminated with LED points, you could vary the composition of the room sound. Also in this lounge, you could watch a special film adapted to the trade fair architecture and projected onto an 8-metre wide element in the textile structure. To create a calming effect – resembling a kaleidoscope – the film was reflected in quadruplicate by a special mirroring process. This aesthetic abstraction was able to transmit the special atmosphere of the Autostadt without revealing too much of its mystery.
The lounge to the right allowed you to delve more deeply into the sensory world of ‘atmosphere’. The even softer flooring in this area merged into a large landscape of the same material on which you could sit or lie. Integrated massage devices helped guests in the process of relaxation. Slowly changing light shows, fragrance arrangements and three-dimensional sound effects lent this place of deceleration a unique mood.
Autostadt atmosphere II
Trade Fair presentation for VW Autostadt Wolfsburg at the International Tourism Exchange, ITB, Berlin 2002
Due to the customer’s additional requirements, the stand at ITB 2002 featured a slightly modified area layout and newly developed functional elements. The textile structure was expanded to include a flat offshoot which penetrated the exterior sheath to the right of the entrance. It served as a self-service point for passers-by, integrating the ‘infogirl’ installation as well as an additional brochure display.
By contrast, the interior of the stand focused on personal consultation. The lounge on the right side was made smaller – in favor of a dynamically formed discussion island. The ellipsoid arrangement of matte varnished tables and leather covered seating benches permitted flexible use – for one-to-one chats or larger discussion rounds. Prospect material was within easy reach, in acrylic boxes on the outer edges of the seats.
To maintain the contemplative atmosphere of the right-hand lounge, visitors were offered DVD glasses granting a visual break from the discussion round. The travel film through Autostadt Wolfsburg turned into a multi-sensory experience thanks to the gentle massaging effects to be felt on the reclining surface. Another attractive element in the central service area was the arch-shaped backlit show counter from which the company Mövenpick served guests in professional style. The diverse range of edibles was presented in an optically pleasing way on the stacked glass tablets of the feature furniture.
In 2002, the ‘Autostadt atmosphere’ had once again been adjusted to the specific requirements of a trade fair and set up there for the third consecutive time.