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Volkswagen's Autostadt

31 May 2011

LED facelift for Volkswagen's Autostadt visitor centre.
eFour delivers custom-made LED media facade solution to give Autostadt dynamic new look that invites guests to Movimentos Festival Weeks.

eFour - a technology company specialised in custom creative media and lighting solutions to the international architectural market, is proud to showcase the custom-made, environmentally friendly LED media facade it has designed, manufactured and installed at Autostadt - the communication platform of the Volkswagen Group in Wolfsburg.

The installation welcomes visitors to the 9th Movimentos Festival Weeks, which take place from April to end of May 2011. The custom-made facade will show an animated version of the Movimentos logo, which will be visible to visitors from far away.

Autostadt is Volkswagen's flagship automotive theme park, car delivery centre, attraction world, event location, technology centre, automotive museum and a place for education. Every year it welcomes about 2 Million visitors to the 25 hectare visitors area. The new environmentally responsible LED installation that now welcomes visitors to the state-of-the-art centre replaces the neon installation that graced the main facade of the entrance building for the past 10 years since its opening.

The new LED installation had to adhere to three major design criteria: it had to simulate the original neon installation, blend seamlessly with the building?s architecture and it had to remain true to Volkswagen's values of environmental protection and sustainable development. "The Autostadt team was specifically looking for an LED solution that would offer them sophisticated video technology capabilities yet would also blend seamlessly with the existing architectural structure of the building," says Claas Ernst, eFour's Founder and CEO. "They wanted an installation with full video control and colour blending ability in order to convert the steel/glass facade into a true media facade."


eFour offered Autostadt a custom-designed LED solution of 800 linear meters of video controlled diffused LED tube that covers over 2000 square meters of building facade, with all LED tubes in custom lengths that fill the exact height of each single window frame in the facade. The tubes are placed vertically across the facade to form a vast low-resolution screen capable of displaying abstract visuals and colour fades, but also text and video graphics.

As one of the major design criteria, the installation had to mimic the original neon installation; hence each single LED pixel was covered with a diffuse material that is homogenously backlit to look just like neon tubes. Since the entire LED system is based on sophisticated video processing technology with full colour correction capability, it was easy to program the system to simulate the exact colour tone of the original neon installation.

The custom-designed mounting brackets and cable covers, as well as a construction matched in colour and texture to the building's own metal construction, results in a perfectly integrated, highly transparent, and elegant installation. Following the company's principles of sustainable development, the LED installation also saves over 70% in energy and maintenance costs compared to the costs associated with the original neon installation.

Content to suit every occasion.

Using a Pandoras Box Media Server system as video source, Autostadt has decided to integrate the facade into the communication mix for seasonal events. While the system will mimic the original neon installation for most of the year, it will take full advantage of its video control capabilities to display custom-created content to support events such as the Movimentos Festival weeks currently taking place as well as the company's summer and winter events.

"We are very proud to have been chosen by the Autostadt team to deliver this beautiful architectural project, which allowed us to show just a fraction of our technical capabilities. With our experience, flexibility and attention to detail we convinced Autostadt that eFour would be the best partner to deliver this unique video installation based on their very specific requirements. We are proud today to see the Autostadt team absolutely satisfied with the way we managed the project, the combined team effort with other companies involved in the project, the smooth integration and the final result." Ernst concludes.

Project facts:
Client: Autostadt GmbH and Volkswagen AG
Architect: Henn Architekten
Autostadt Project Team: Ralf Kösters, Thomas Wlocka
Technology: 336 custom-designed and manufactured eFour LED video tubes

About eFour.
eFour is a technology company based in Wolfenbuettel Germany that offers custom creative media solutions to the international architectural market.

For more information please contact:
Claas Ernst
Mobile: +49 171 3178160
Tel: +49 5331 8567392

Schmidt Busterminal

10 September 2010

eFour to provide custom creative media (LED display and lighting) solutions to the architectural market.

Wolfenbuettel, Germany. Claas Ernst, former European Managing Director of Element Labs, today announced the launch of eFour – a technology company that will offer custom creative media solutions to the international architectural market. The company will be headquartered in Wolfenbuettel, Germany.

Claas Ernst has a long-standing reputation in the video- and lighting markets with almost 20 years experience with leading players including Strand Lighting, High End Systems and later Element Labs. During his tenure as MD for Elements Labs Europe, Ernst also successfully developed and expanded the company’s foothold in Europe. With over 10 years experience in the architectural market, Ernst was involved in developing and delivering media solutions for many well-known and award-winning entertainment and architectural projects, including the o2 "MediaCloud" pixel ceiling designed by Munich-based brand strategy, design, and communication specialist KMS-TEAM, the living architecture project for Electrabel’s Power Station in Drogenbos (Belgium) and a monumental communication solution on the Port of the America’s Cup in Valencia (Spain) - both designed by Brussels based monumental communication specialists Magic Monkey.

"Having been involved in the design and development of media solutions small and large for both the entertainment and the architectural markets, I realised that the architectural installations had a completely unique set of challenges that needed to be addressed. In architectural installations, the video or lighting technology always has to blend seamlessly with the architectural structure, be it an office, a piece of installation art or a large-scale media wall on the outside of a building. In architectural installations there is no room for compromise whilst in the entertainment world the entire design will often change to suit the technology."

"I believe eFour’s strongest competitive advantages are the fact that we have an enormous in-depth technical understanding of all video and lighting technologies plus a network of very experienced product development and manufacturing partners world wide. Add the fact that we are technology- and supplier independent and this means that we can analyse a project and propose the technology that would allow us to answer the design brief as carefully as possible."

eFour has hit the ground running and was recently selected by Volkswagen and Autostadt - the car manufacturers visitor centre in Germany - to design, manufacture and deliver a custom-made LED media façade for Autostadt’s main entrance building.

eFour will offer a range of services to its clients, from consultation and advice to architects and architectural lighting designers during the initial project design phase to helping identify and develop technology solutions – be it with ‘off the shelf’ products or customized products or custom-designed, project specific products.

"As founder of eFour I pride myself on adhering to two key principles in all our business dealings: flexibility in our approach to our clients and the care and commitment to every single detail in a project."

About eFour.
eFour is a technology company based in Wolfenbuettel Germany that offers custom creative media solutions to the international architectural market.

For more information please contact:
Claas Ernst
Mobile: +49 171 3178160
Tel: +49 5331 8567392

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