E.ON, one of the largest energy companies in the world, needed a visitor center for its new power plant that would help visitors explore the role of energy in their lives, answer questions about different energy sources, and promote energy conservation. E.ON also wanted to encourage visitors’ feedback on local energy concerns and issues.
Kubik BV designed a format suitable for power plants in several different countries, aiming the design at encouraging stakeholders to visit and engage in an open dialogue with E.ON. The centers are assembled of prefabricated building blocks and can be dismantled and rebuilt on any site. Each floor is dedicated to a specific theme: inform (first floor), explore (roof terrace), experience (third floor), and interact (second floor).
Kubik developed a visitor center style guide that outlines the graphic and interior design language but leaves room for local adaptations.
The visitor experience was based around the storyline of “Energy is all around us.” A unique graphic language incorporated into signage and information panels guides visitors through the center while educating them about the power plant. Activities such as calculating their own carbon footprints keep visitors engaged in a conversation about how and where the power plant fits in the world of energy supply.
One challenge was integrating E.ON’s corporate identity into the new environment. To unmistakably invite visitors into the center, Kubik designed a bright red, perforated entrance façade identified with E.ON’s graphic mark. Inside, bright red accents and crisp typographical treatments create an open, friendly tone that helps demystify the complicated process of energy production.
The first visitor center was built in Dattein, Germany, and two new centers are being built in 2009 in Germany and the Netherlands.
Hajo Reinders (principal in charge); Rob Minderman (creative director); Babette Porcelijn-Hamburger, Victor Portes (senior designers)
Northern Lights (interactives), Pilgrims (content development)
Kubik (project manager), De Meeuw (general contractor), Ansorg (lighting), Stapelbroek (interior production), Bruns (interactives), Mansveld (A/V)