Exhibition construction object “Frame” for Volkswagen

Prototype set manufactured by Hahlbrock serves as basis for tender in America.

On behalf of Volkswagen Group of America, the German agency cebra designed new sets for national and international US automotive trade shows. Each of the 16 sets consists of presentation frame, back wall, light pole, counter, seating and special presentation areas.

All elements should be designed so that they can be used repeatedly and for years and, according to the specifics of American trade shows, can be installed by assembly personnel without special knowledge of the material. They should also have a low transport weight, be of high workmanship quality and be able to be reworked in the USA.

Hahlbrock was commissioned to produce the central design element of a set, the large-format “frame” with the integrated 9 m spanning “inlay”, as well as several seating areas for the prototype set. The aim of the prototype was to create a basis or sample in Germany for the tendering of the entire sets for the North American region that meet the above requirements.

We designed the frame as a self-supporting, lightweight construction. It consists of four individual components, which are joined together reversibly and frictionally by means of screw connections. The frame components consist of a sandwich structure with cover layers of glass-fiber-reinforced plastic and a core of rigid PUR foam. The open surfaces facing inward in the frame will later be covered by inlaid wooden panels covered with leather. The frame is given cross ribs for stiffening purposes.

To accommodate the inlay, circumferential steel profiles are laminated on the inside of the side panels at a height of approx. one meter. The inlay was also made from a lightweight GRP sandwich construction. All visible surfaces are smooth, with no markings of reinforcements, ribs or inserts, and are painted to a high quality in RAL 9016 satin. The seat elements with removable leatherette-covered lid were also made of GRP.

The first official assembly of the prototype took place in Wolfsburg in cooperation with the Maedebach company. Afterwards, the entire prototype set – well packed in large-format crates – was transported to America to be set up by the American trade fair construction company EWI for the next presentation. Meanwhile, the set we made is also used in the actual exhibitions.