Edutainment & Infotainment

DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum in Berlin

The premises
The DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum was opened at Lindencorso in Berlin on May 1. A new communication platform has been created in the former VW Automobil Forum Unter den Linden which, following extensive conversion work, brings together all twelve of the Group’s brands as well as Volkswagen Financial Services AG beneath a single roof. The focus is not on sales but on information. The public will be provided with an insight into the visions and themes of the Volkswagen Group, and the aims which drive its brands, in an opening exhibition entitled ‘START – The World of the Volkswagen Group’ on the ground floor, which will also host exciting installations relating to the world of mobility. The DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum will have brand boxes for each of the brands: Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania, and MAN. Other areas of the exhibition will show the history of these brands represented by a modern tree-root design featuring digital exhibits and tomorrow’s themes: mobility, urban research, and sustainable living concepts, all of which will be depicted as an abstract treetop. These are inspired by future car-sharing, in-car software solutions, and technical innovations relating to materials and modern service concepts.

The permanent ‘Financial DRIVE’ exhibition features interactive installations that guide visitors through the world of Volkswagen Financial Services AG, informing them about the company’s automotive financial services and mobility products.

There will be changing exhibitions in which the brands present themselves along with specific mobility themes for three-month periods. Another exhibition area will be home to permanent highlight exhibits. There will also be special exhibitions and cultural events open to the public all year. DRIVE also has a shop selling model vehicles of every Volkswagen Group brand, and it is home to two original eateries: urban artisan producer Brotzeit and restaurant Zeitgeist.

Upstairs there are modern, multifunctional meeting, seminar, and conference rooms featuring the latest technology in which VW events can be held, and which represent a new location in Berlin for renting out to others.

The task
Volkswagen Immobilien GmbH was the general contractor in charge of building the new presentation and conference areas on the capital’s foremost shopping boulevards, at the intersection of Friedrichstraße and Unter den Linden. Professor Christoph Mäckler Architects were responsible for the architecture.

The company macom, a Stuttgart-specialist in modern communication solutions, was appointed to plan the audio visual solutions. This resulted in an invitation to tender for the installation of permanent lighting, sound, video, projection, and control equipment in the exhibition areas, as well as media equipment in the conference rooms, and the tender was awarded to Amptown System Company. The aim was to establish modern, flexibly expandable media equipment which would assist in the presentation of brands at different types of events. These include exhibitions, press conferences, vehicle presentations, cultural events, live music performances, corporate seminars, and events in which the venue would be rented out to others. Because of this the client required the building’s technology to be easy to operate.

The solution

Exhibition and event area
System specialists from ASC created the infrastructure required for media equipment at the DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum, and installed and programed all of the event equipment components on the ground floor.

In the entrance area, visitors are greeted by representatives of the Group shown on 40” displays vertically installed on six pillars, after which they can have fun finding out all about the Group’s twelve brands. Interrelated videos are played by a networked Pandoras Box Server combined with coolux COMPACT players, and an eyevis LED video wall of more than 45 m² which represents the central element of the exhibition is supplied with content by a coolux QUAD player. Custom made GAE (German Audio Engineering) loudspeakers were installed for the sound, having been designed especially according to the specifications of macom to accommodate the features of the premises and fulfill the requirement for a reverberation time extension system with implemented 3D sound.
This allows the event room to be used for all kinds of functions, from panel discussions all the way to chamber music performances.

The architects created an open, two-floor visual axis. Since the facility’s opening in May 2015 and up until August 2015, the Group brands are being presented in twelve theme boxes in the main exhibition area.

The center of attention in the main room is a permanently installed, monumental eyevis LED wall consisting of 30 x 8 eyeLED modules with a total size of approximately 15 x 3 meters. The modules, each 480 x 360 mm, fit together smoothly and seamlessly. With a pixel separation of 2.5 mm, each model offers 192 x 144 pixels. This means that the wall has a total resolution of 5760 x 1152 pixels and produces stunningly sharp images. Equally remarkable is the uniform reproduction of brightness and colors which eyevis achieves by means of factory calibration combined with numerous adjustable parameters. Here the name DRIVE is reinterpreted in terms of mobility and presented using lifestyle imagery. This is interspersed with brief features on the various Group brands.

The sound system in the event and exhibition area consists of more than 100 GAE (German Audio Engineering) speakers positioned discreetly on special mountings in the ceiling and walls. The audio concept was designed and implemented to incorporate wave-field synthesis. This produces the best possible auditory impression throughout the event room, which means high quality reproduction for individuals and whole groups of listeners, and larger numbers of listeners inside the room, even if they move around from place to place within the space.

The building’s own high-quality sound system is ideally equipped for the permanent exhibition and for live events. Permanently available digital wireless microphones belonging to Shure’s ULXD series allow short addresses and discussion sessions to be played out over the sound system at any time. A Crestron Touchpanel is used to control this. A Yamaha CL3 mixing desk is available for more complex sound scenarios, and it is connected up through a DANTE audio network and allows differentiated access to playing devices, microphones, and the PA system.

The consistent emphasis throughout the DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum is on LED lighting, which means longevity and energy efficiency. The ceiling incorporates an impressive 21 equipment recesses in which 160 ETC Source Four Studio HD LED profile spots from ASC can be freely positioned on busbars and a specially constructed carriage. A 15 m wide and 8.5 m high image wall system made by Gerriets has been embedded into the ceiling cutout between the entrance area and the brand presentation, and it can visually serve these areas separately if required. The ETC spotlights in the remaining 20 ceiling cutouts utilize different light intensities to accentuate certain areas of the exhibition, and are currently used to stunning effect to showcase brand vehicles.

The conference and seminar area
A modern conference and seminar center has been created upstairs. In the foyer there is a welcome desk flanked on either side by 55” Samsung seamless displays. From there the digital room booking system can be controlled, into which digital media content for the electronic door panel system is also incorporated. Highly impressive sequences, such as automobiles that drive from door panel to door panel, can if required be played in synchronized fashion in a reception situation.

Six conference rooms and a VIP lounge carrying the famous names of well-known Berlin landmarks such as Brandenburger Tor, Siegessäule and Unter den Linden feature the very latest conference and media equipment. These rooms offer a combination of white plastered walls, bright built-in cabinets, and round or oval conference tables, high-quality greige-colored carpets on warm wooden floors, black doorframes, and black ceiling trim.

For example, the Brandenburger Tor VIP conference room has at its heart a white oval conference table flanked by comfortable, black leather chairs. There is no other media furniture to distract the attention. The front of the room is designed as a large cabinet wall into which a dnp Supernova projection screen has been integrated. Panasonic AW-HE60 HD video conference cameras built into the cladding on either side of the wall are available for video conferences. The ROBOLIFT installed in the softshell ceiling deploys the video projector when needed. Presentation equipment can be utilized flexibly and for different functions in conjunction with the wireless Barco ClickShare presentation system. This means that any signal can be transmitted to any other room.

On the right-hand wall is a Crestron Touchpanel controller for setting the level of lighting or darkness in the room. Media racks are arranged in a clear and accessible way in a separate equipment room outside the conference rooms. The ceiling, with its highlighted lighting rails, picks up on the black of the leather chairs. GAE speakers are integrated almost invisibly into the ceiling for a good sound. There are also gray-beige wall elements that serve as absorbers, producing pleasant spatial acoustics and helping conferences not to tire their delegates.

Questions? We’ll gladly assist.

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    The world of the Volkswagen Group at DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum in the heart of Berlin.

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    Visitors are received in the entrance of DRIVE by Samsung displays, and led in an entertaining way into the exhibition areas.

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    The first exhibition, ‘START – the world of the Volkswagen Group’, presents Volkswagen’s twelve Groups brands: Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania, and MAN.

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    There are 21 equipment recesses incorporated into the ceiling of the exhibition and event area, in which 160 ETC Source Four Studio HD LED profile spots are installed for exhibition lighting, vehicle highlighting, and effect lighting.

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    Detailed picture: equipment recesses featuring ETC Source Four Studio HD LED profile spots – this application guarantees optimum illumination in every situation.

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    Travelling through time with the brands using a modern-styled tree-root system.

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    ‘Drive and mobility’ at Porsche, in uniquely clear imagery on the eyevis LED wall consisting of 30 x 8 eyeLED modules.

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    Looking out of the main exhibition area towards the main entrance on Friedrichstraße / corner of Unter den Linden in Berlin.

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    The foyer of the modern VW conference and seminar center upstairs at DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum.

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    The Brandenburger Tor VIP Room – this high-end setting is a flexible facility for presentations and seminars.

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    In an exposed position, the Brandenburger Tor VIP Room is just one of the conference and seminar facilities at the DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum that are suitable for creative processes and launching new things.

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    Floor tank in the conference room: lots of connectors clearly arranged in a small space.

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