New Work: Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce is the iconic luxury automobile, representing the finest in British engineering since the company’s founding over a century ago in 1904. Pentagram’s Justus Oehler and his team in our Berlin office were commissioned by Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, now part of the BMW Group, to develop the theme and create the overall look and feel for the Rolls-Royce exhibition stand at Europe’s most important car show, the IAA (Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung) in Frankfurt. Oehler’s solution for the brief was to create a gallery-like environment that showcased the exquisite craftsmanship of Rolls-Royce and brought to life the spirit of its manufacturing.
The exhibition presented Rolls-Royce and its engineering as a work of art. The stand was separated into several distinct areas: a public gallery displaying cars in the main hall, and a more exclusive interior lounge area for invited guests and clients. Reflecting Rolls-Royce’s painstaking attention to detail, Oehler and his team were involved in all levels of the exhibition to create a complete environment, from seating and the colours of fabrics and wall-coverings to the greenery and catering.
As a focus for the main exhibition space, the designers created a cinematic, unusually wide 12.3 meter long LED wall that stretched behind the three cars on display. The screen presented a looped film showing the skills and dedication of the workers at Rolls-Royce’s factory in Goodwood, England, focusing on their hands in action. The film was based on a storyboard developed by Pentagram and produced by UK-based firm brainstorm.
In the same area, the tools of the Rolls-Royce craftsmen were displayed in five beautifully crafted, bespoke glass cabinets designed by Pentagram. Presented like museum artifacts, the tools sat on “hovering” picture cubes that illustrated the use of the tool in action at the factory. The designers also developed a modular seating system of benches for the space that doubled as a container for greenery.
Beyond the public gallery, an interior lounge was designed that was intimate and exclusive, with a bar and seating areas for meetings. The space included a display of a series of photographs created by Rankin, the renowned British photographer, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the “Spirit of Ecstasy,” the symbol of Rolls Royce. Throughout the exhibition, quotes by famous artists and designers like Pablo Picasso and Coco Chanel positioned Rolls-Royce as the ultimate in craftsmanship.
The exhibition design was a success and Rolls-Royce has commissioned Oehler to help shape the design of its next stand at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2012.
Project Team: Justus Oehler, partner-in-charge and designer; David Steingrüber and Eva Simon, designers; Sonja Scharrer, project coordination.