Autostadt Light Weight Exhibit

Merit Award 2014

Autostadt (“Car City”) is the visitor attraction adjacent to the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany. Every year, 2 million visitors experience the center, including a museum, feature pavilions for VW Group brands, and a factory tour.

Autostadt Light Weight is an exhibition that demonstrates the interaction of substantial and constructional lightweight materials and how VW uses lightweight construction in car production. To illustrate the concept, aPLEX created a central 3-dimensional object that sandwiches lightweight frame construction. A simple rectangular exterior form was chosen due to the fact that lightweight construction exists mostly in the interior structure of an object.

In three interactive stations, visitors learn more about the topic. At the station devoted to materials, visitors can remove trial materials from the exhibit and place them on an interactive “material decoder” surface that uses a digital code to recognize the material and displays various technical data via a touchscreen. The visitor becomes a material researcher and is able to virtually discover the physical properties and special characteristics of the material.

To illustrate the concept of lightweight design, three interactive libraries embedded in the exhibit show visitors the structural principles and applications of lightweight construction. The material removed in the first station becomes a physical example of the materials and methods used in lightweight structures.

In the third station, knowledge gained in the first two stations is consolidated using examples from Volkswagen production. A real monocoque of the XL-1 car illustrates the structural approach of supporting loads through an object's external skin, similar to an egg shell. A touchscreen provides a complete overview of the lightweight design principles used for the XL-1.

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Jury Comments: 

“This project succeeds as an instructional tool and, quite simply, as a beautiful piece of sculpture. The colors and forms are bright and seductive, and the extreme scalar quality of it (as though one were the size of an ant) engages the viewer in a way that two-dimensional media could not.”

Design Firm: 

aPLEX GmbH

Client: 

Autostadt GmbH

Location City: 

Wolfsburg, Germany

Project Area: 

160m2

Open Date: 

October 2013

Project Budget: 

N/A

Photo Credits: 

© 2013 Christoph Buckstegen

Design Team: 

Oliver Mühr (principal in charge); Alexander Jung (creative director); Bruno Bakalovic (art director); Justyna Mintus (account manager); Susanne Zahlaus (project manager); Ninette Kohler (storytelling); Gesine Last (content design concept); Thomas Brauner (media management); Andrea Kowalski, Gerit Lippert (interface design); Ramon Karges (architectural design); Ronny Lorenz (conceptual design); Peter Pötsch, Moritz Strickhauser, Alexander Thieme (programming)

Consultants: 

COOP Projektgesellschaft (media consulting), Dr. Ing. Christoph Konetschny (material consulting), Take 7 GmbH (site supervision), GSE Ingenieur-Gesellschaft mbH (structural engineering)

Fabricators: 

MKT AG (primary fabricator), Interactive Scape (multitouch hardware),
AVE PRO (media equipment)

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