Exhibition Design: Fascination and Information
A convincing, substantial concept, a powerful room design and a smart applied media technology: the contest jurors have unanimously approved the macom concept for the redesign of the main exhibition dedicated to the railway project Stuttgart-Ulm. The concept was developed in cooperation with Heller Designstudio for the tower premises of the Stuttgart main station and is already considered a trend-setting multimedia exhibition design by the client.

The exhibition “Turmforum” inside the striking tower of the Stuttgart main station is the central exhibition platform for the railway project Stuttgart-Ulm. Ever since its opening in 1998 approximately three million visitors have seen the show which ranks the Turmforum exhibition number 5 in terms of attractivity in Stuttgart. The last redesign took place in 2002, and it was about time to prepare the Turmforum for the future, says Mr. David Bösinger, Director of the Turmforum. “Our objective was to present the topics in a simplified way, neatly arranged in a modern setting, and to use high-end multimedia communication and presentation methods to achieve this.”

Unanimous Juror Vote
The entire communication strategy of the exhibition in the main station is to invite the citizens to enter into a dialog: the Turmforum serves as an “appetizer” and consolidates the subjects Stuttgart 21 and the new stretch of rails in a eye-catching manner. The visitors can then enlarge upon the subject on the internet. The Turmforum strives to bridge the gap between emotion and information. A tender put out by the associating “Bahnprojekt Stuttgart-Ulm e. V.” was won by macom, the specialist for discriminating spacial communication and media technology concepts, against three other renowned competitors by an unanimous vote of the jurors. The concept developed by the macom communication specialists from Stuttgart convinced the jury, because it was “internally consistent, it has a very clear-cut design and it provides for the modern and intelligent application of contemporary media technology”, David Bösinger states. Great enthusiasm could be felt in the presentation.

Objective: Interdisciplinary Solution
“The challenge was to develop a concept for a vibrant, progressive exhibition and the interdisciplinary linkup of an appealing spacial design, modern and user-friendly media technology and the savvy, lean presentation of complex contents”, states Andreas Maien, Project Manager and CEO of macom.

Sensible Minimization, Selective Effect
The macom concept provides for a new perspective for the Turmforum: it strictly adheres to the visitor perspective by refocussing and restructuring the subjects, thus conveying the benefits of the project in an emotional and intuitive manner. Starting with the design language: the strict geometry of the approx. 90 year old tower merges into a soft, fluid design language in the interior; the consequent use of white as a basic color focusses the view to the contents, and the “clearing” of the formerly blocked tower windows offers an optimum panoramic view of all sides of the station precinct and the construction site. The new arrangement of the various issues also convinced the client of the macom concept: the concentration on three subject areas covers all aspects of the project and conveys a clear perception of the subjects “Infrastructure” (traffic benefits), “Station” (What is the construction project?) and “Urban development” (chances and visions), presented in an intelligent manner over the different levels of the tower. Bösinger: “The simplification to three subject areas was a convincing component of
the macom concept.”

Media Technology Supports The Event Culture
Media technology plays a central part in each block of themes. Two 8 m² sized back protection screens, each covering almost an entire room wall, and six 70-inch screens convey an emotional experience for the visitors on several levels. On level 7, video steles show life-size citizens stating their opinion about the project. On level 5, the visitors can walk on glass floor tiles illuminated from below. As they walk on these tiles, the rail network appears and the visitor can see where exactly the new stretch of tracks will run within the city of Stuttgart. In a playful manner the changes will be shown while walking in this area. A total of 13 touch monitors illuminate the individual aspects of the exhibition themes. Two large multitouch-tables on level 6 which are also suitable for children, invite the visitors to experience further deepening aspects of the project in an interactive manner. Thus the media concept developed by macom fulfills one of the main challenges of the client, “shorter or longer visitor stay”, in a modern way. As a result of the intelligent preparation and the digital exposition each subject can now be perceived in a superficial manner or it can be deppened, depending on interest and availability of time. The visitor can further pursue the subjects either during the visit of the exhibition or at home on the web. And the digital presentation of the contents offers further advantages, from the point of view of the Turmforum operators: The contents can be updated easily and flexibly by their own staff. While the exhibition is being prepared for the situation of the year 2013, the platform can remain vibrant and up-to-date until the project has ended. David Bösinger: “We can present developing subjects in a flexible manner and we can easily react to special visitor interests by displaying new priority areas.” This is facilitated by a content management system designed by macom. All content of the Stuttgart Turmforum can be updated easily by the exhibition operators and a central control unit on tablet PCs allow for a simple operation of the media technology on all levels. The entire exhibition in Stuttgart is barrier-free and particularly well protected against vandalism to comply with a requirement of the supporting association.

Result: “Maximum Output”
The client is particularly pleased with the multimedia exhibition concept because it was realized within a precise budget. Director Bösinger is convinced that the association got the “maximum benefit” from the allocated budget: “It is a creative solution – also with a view to the cost.” The association behind the railway project Stuttgart-Ulm is, after the opening of the Turmforum, more than happy with the services provided by macom. Bösinger states that during the implementation phase the cooperation was excellent. Though not always easy in terms of the regulations for preservation and fire protection, “the project team had innovative ideas and complemented each other in an ideal manner”, says the Director of the Turmforum.

“The visitors are excited by the newly designed rooms. The variety of (interactive) media available on all floors are highly frequented. The exhibition is a great success.” David Bösinger, Director of the Turmforum, Railway Project Stuttgart-Ulm e.V.

Turmforum Bahnprojekt Stuttgart-Ulm

Konzept: Andreas Maien
Projektleiter: Andreas Maien
Mitarbeiter: Mario Margonari

Architektur: Heller Designstudio, Stuttgart

Photographer: © macom GmbH

Turmforum Railway Project by macom | AudioVisual Design | ×