Planet M Expo 2000 Hannover - Becker Gewers Kühn und Kühn
Planet M Expo 2000 Hanover
Architecture: Becker Gewers Kühn und Kühn
The building, which was erected for the media group for the World Exhibition Hannover 2000 and is now used by the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hannover, is located at the Expo Plaza as one of the central places of the World Exhibition.
It is an ensemble of two parts: a bar on the south side and a round building on the north side. A connecting, closed bridge spans between the two bodies. A glass wall with lettering closes off the site on the west side and separates the ensemble from a narrow thoroughfare.
The bar, clad horizontally with light-coloured slats and virtually closed on all sides, has a length of 50 metres and a width of 12 metres. It serves - under the motto "Media for People" - to present the Bertelsmann company. On the ground floor there is a media shop and a restaurant; on the first and first floors there is an exhibition on the activities of the global player Bertelsmann; on the third floor of the angular building there are conference rooms.
The Rundling appears quite different from the Riegel. At a cursory glance, it resembles an Unknown Flying Object. Yet it is a solid body resting on eighteen sloping supports and built like a ship from steel frames up to 3 metres high. In some respects similar to the lines of longitude and latitude on a globe, these frames form a supporting and truss structure with over eighty individual panels.
A taut retina of steel mesh spans this supporting and lattice framework, which shimmers between grey and blue during the day. At night, however - when over eight hundred fluorescent tubes shine from inside onto the translucent material of the retina and the light penetrates through the wiry fabric to the outside - the rotunda seems to float and transform into a shimmering structure. With the help of a programme to control the lighting, the colours can change and mix. Planet M immerses itself and its immediate surroundings in sometimes this, sometimes that mood.
A lifting platform that can hold about two hundred people and rises 8 metres from the ground leads visitors between the sloping supports into the interior of the pavilion, where two showrooms with huge screens await them for demonstration.