Let’s Drive: A look inside the Volkswagen Group Forum

car in DRIVE Volkswagen group forum in berlin
Audi City Lab exhibition at the Volkswagen Group Forum

Volkswagen has created an attraction in the centre of Berlin for the public to learn more about its brands. Nial Anderson takes a look inside.

The DRIVE Volkswagen Group Forum located in the bustling centre of Berlin, is a flagship store and corporate space created by the German car manufacturer Volkswagen to educate the public about the company; its 12 automotive brands and the Financial Services AG, an automotive financial service provider.

The Audi City Lab Berlin is the third brand exhibition to be staged at the venue which opened last November.

AV design was carried out by macom, while integrator Amptown System Company (ASC) was chosen to install lighting, sound, video, projection, and control equipment.

From the street, visitors step into the entrance hall with white floor-to-ceiling columns. Content is shown on 40-in Samsung displays installed in portrait format on six of the pillars, with a further 10 displays facing out into the street, and two in the reception.

The exhibition space consists of a room with bays on each side showing highlighted models of the company’s brands. Audi City Lab Berlin allows its guests to experience high-performance vehicles. A Driving Box provides a virtual driving experience, and the Technology Box showcases the trademark engine noise.

"Centre stage in the room is an eyevis LED videowall of more than 42m 2, which draws the visitors into the exhibition."

Centre stage in the room is an eyevis LED videowall of more than 42m 2, which draws the visitors into the exhibition. It consists of 30 x 8 eyeLED modules of around 15 x 3 metres and resolution of 5760 x 1152 pixels.

An image wall system made by Gerriets has been embedded into the ceiling cutout between the entrance area and the brand presentation, separating the spaces. It can also be projected onto. It allows a proper image presentation while the exhibition content can be shown behind, or serve as an entertainment tool for live events. The 15 x 7.5 metre megascreen, fitted with Gammalux projection film, was installed in a ceiling shaft incorporated into the structure, which can be closed off using four separate flaps. These are controlled by an electrically driven steel band mechanism.

To handle content for the displays, ASC enabled interrelated videos to be played by a networked Pandoras Box Server combined with coolux Compact players. The Eyevis videowall is supplied with content by a coolux Quad player.

Audio is delivered through more than 100 custom made GAE loudspeakers, designed according to the specifications of macom to accommodate the features of the premises and fulfil the requirement for a reverberation time extension system with implemented 3D sound.

The audio concept was designed to incorporate wave-field synthesis. This produces the best possible auditory impression for individuals and groups even if they move around within the space.

ASC installed a Crestron media control system, and a touch panel enables individual control of each part of the space. A Yamaha CL3 mixing desk was specified for more complex sound tasks, which is connected up to the audio network via Dante.

Cornelia Schneider, director of Volkswagen Drive, said: “We realise that vehicles are no longer status symbols or a primary means of transport. We had to rethink things to maintain the loyalty of our customers. Our brands will each exhibit for three months in rotation, presenting specific mobility themes. Highlight products will be permanently on display in another exhibition area. Special exhibitions and cultural events will also be offered throughout the year.”