PlanetM

PlanetM

Bertelsmann-Pavillon,
Expo2000, Hannover
1998-2000

Constructed for the media company on the occasion of the World Expo 2000 in Hannover and today used by the University of Applied Sciences, the building is situated at Expo Plaza, one of the central locations of the World Exposition. It consists of a two-part ensemble: a long bar to the south and a circular structure to the north. Extending between the two is an enclosed, connecting bridge. A glass wall printed with text encloses the area on the west and separates the ensemble from a narrow thoroughfare.


Faced with light-colored wood paneling forming a virtually unbroken surface on all sides, the bar is fifty meters long and twelve meters wide. It serves as a presentation site for Bertelsmann under the motto “Media for People.” The ground floor houses a media store and a restaurant; the second and third floors contain an exhibition on the activities of Bertelsmann as a global player; conference rooms are located on the fourth floor of this sharpedged building.


The round building has a completely different appearance. At first glance it suggests an unidentified flying object. But it is a fixed mass that rests on eighteen diagonal supports, and, like a ship, it is girded by steel ribs, some with a length of up to three meters. To a certain extent, like the lines of longitude and latitude on a globe, these ribs form a support structure with over eighty individual frames. Spanned over this framework is a taught translucent scrim made of steel mesh that oscillates between grey and blue during the day. However, at night—when over 800 fluorescent tubes illuminate the scrim from within and light permeates the wire mesh—the round form seems to float, transformed into a shimmering entity. These colors can change and blend with one another through the use of a lighting control program to create alternating moods for Planet m and its immediate surroundings.

An elevator with an approximately twohundred- person capacity rises eight meters from the ground bringing visitors between the diagonal supports and into the interior of the pavilion, where they encounter two showrooms with enormous presentation screens.

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