Huge Ceiling Element for Mercedes Benz

Umkirch, 22. October 2009

In March 2009, Gerriets was chosen by the exhibition company Ambrosius Frankfurt to realize the project. For the International Auto Show (September 17-21, 2009) the ceiling element was installed and changed the trade show hall’s atmosphere through its eye catching organic shape.

Gerriets used more than 7,500 m2 (approx. 9,000 yd2) of a semitransparent PVC coated mesh textile for the project. With a size of more than 5,000 m2 (almost 6,000 yd2) the ceiling element weighs approx. 3000 kg (6,600 lbs). Depending on the lighting direction the curved element appears transparent or opaque. Projections and laser images create additional special effects.

The ceiling element is up to 30 m (32.8yd) high. It is fastened at the hall ceiling and the hall columns. In the middle of the exhibition hall, the ceiling element forms a huge tube with a 10 m (11 yd) diameter going up to the ceiling. A second downward tube at the side stops three meter over the floor.

The ceiling element is approx. 110 m (120 yd) long and 60 m (65 yd) wide. “Light eyes” are integrated into the fabrics. This circle of almond shaped cutouts is backed with a wide mesh textile which allows light to pass through to effectively illuminate the exhibited cars. 

The complete ceiling construction is mounted to a huge ring and fixed to 36 hanging points by steel wires. The lower edge is mounted to a 2,900 kg (6,300 lbs) weight ring. To enhance the whole effect, a huge white balloon was mounted between ceiling and the element to give the ceiling element its final shape.
The ceiling element was installed by 12 to 18 people over a period of 14 days.