The external skin of the stand delivers the first surprise. Fabric has been stretched across the ‘constructiv pila’ system from both sides to create a very special effect. On the outside, a transparent black gauze creates a consistent and homogenous surface, upon which the rhizoid inner fabric casts a tantalising shadow play. The inner fabric is a handmade effect viscose – which even appears for a moment in the opening credits of German crime series, Tatort. This dark outer skin renders the open entrance areas and two protruding cubes particularly striking.
The main entrance is indicated by a mirrored wall positioned at right angles to the entrance. On the rear surface of the mirror is an abstract diagram depicting the company’s international sites. From here, the visitor proceeds towards a reception counter constructed from the ‘constructiv pon’ system with a front surface of printed glass showing the many design awards given to Burkhardt Leitner products. A six metre wall, constructed from the ‘constructiv clic’ system, towers behind the counter and presents the new rotating panel as a decorative wall element. A cloud of speech bubbles with quotes from friends, colleagues and partners taken from the recently published book about Burkhardt Leitner is suspended above the entrance area. The quotes can be identified on an adjacent wall diagram by the shape of the respective speech bubble.
The first space within a space opens next to the entrance. It is formed by white gauze with a canvas-like structure stretched across innovative clip-in profiles, which completely covers the underlying ‘constructiv pila petite’ framework. Transparent gauze was deliberately used to illustrate this product innovation by rendering the underlying system completely visible. The cube breaks through the exterior wall, overhanging the stand like a glasshouse. The association with a glasshouse is underscored by a tropical forest of plants inside. From the outside, this profusion of plant life denotes an oasis of calm within the bustle of the trade fair. Chairs distributed beneath palm fronds invite the visitor to take a moment to flick through the new publication. Profiles and connectors from the Burkhardt Leitner systems grow like small shoots from white cuboid presentation units in the centre of this jungle.
As an homage to the company’s founder, who is celebrating more than one anniversary this year, a partially glazed tower constructed from the ‘constructiv pon’ system displays a collection of mementos, including birthday presents that he has designed for his employees over the years.
A second space within a space breaks through the exterior skin and is used to present Ottobox, the mobile space system from Burkhardt Leitner. It is often employed as a conference space in open-plan offices, but can also be transformed into a bar or lounge. For this trade fair one of the two side walls was covered in dark wood, from which a specially designed shelving system hangs. A white, thick-pile carpet and black anodised system profiles give the space a high class and sophisticated feel, showing ways in which Ottobox can be used to create a prestigious impression.
A long counter serves as the communicative heart of the stand. Both the counter and the oversize lighting element suspended above are made of fabric stretched over profiles. Illuminated company values flash up behind the dark transparent gauze of the ceiling element. The letters appear to float and are illuminated from beneath by LEDs. An decorative design is printed on the sides of the counter: a collage of cut-out system profiles from Burkhardt Leitner. This theme reappears on the anniversary column and on the glass wall of the glasshouse.
While Burkhart Leitner continues to make the technical construction of its new products as invisible as possible, the transparent fabrics of its exhibition stand deliberately make them reappear. The formalistic system architecture meets random structures on its exterior skin and the natural exuberance of the plant growth, playfully showing different ways of employing the system architecture in everyday settings.