GKN Aerospace have been a mainstay of Farnborough International Air Show (FIA) for many years, occupying a slot on the exclusive Bofors Road area. With FIA's increasing investment in the site, and the introduction and development of more permanent structures, GKN Aerospace took the opportunity to commission a new, three-storey permanent building to recreate their corporate headquarters at the air show. How about that for a statement!
Our task was to build a home away from home, providing the interior-fit out, services and branding of the building for the next 8 years. The structure would only be occupied during the air show, which is once every 2 years for 2 weeks, but the building needed to be made in such a way that it could be opened and used as GKN Aerospace's HQ faster than you can say Jumbo Jet exhaust pipes.
The first challenge when building any exhibition structure is generating interest. With such illustrious competition, we knew we had to go bold, tastefully of course. Along with on-site advertising in the immediate vicinity of the pavilion, we also had all of the walling on the outside of the chalet - this would be our blank canvas to make a giant, GKN Aerospace shaped stamp, on FIA. The building itself included various examples of the GKN Aerospace logo over 1 metre high, but the show stopper was a two piece chevron over 8.5 metres high fixed to the entire side elevation. In bright, GKN Aerospace, orange naturally.
The interior layout of the pavilion was spread over three-storeys, with press and invited guests enjoying fully air conditioned hospitality on the ground and first floors - perfect for the 30°C heat wave that happened over FIA. Executive accommodation was kept to the upper floors, with direct access to the open air roof terrace for exceptional views of the flying display and show site.
The two-storey high exhibit area had a dedicated entrance and was kept completely separate from the business and hospitality areas of the pavilion. With the extra height and sun facing glazed panels, the white styled exhibit space bounced natural light around evenly - creating a light and airy atmosphere. Quite fitting for an aerospace component manufacturer, don't you think?
The building received a grand opening by Business Secretary Vince Cable MP.
GKN Aerospace used the platform to announce some major news. First, that they had won a multi-million pound contract from Bombardier Aerospace (view full story here), and second, that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP delivered the news that GKN Aerospace would receive £49million to "look at how 3D printing can help the UK produce the first ever lightweight aircraft metallic parts" (view full story here).
The chalet was also nominated for a best design award at Farnborough International Air Show 2014 - a massive feat when you consider the tremendous level of competition.
"GKN team is recovering from a fantastic @FIAFarnborough in our new pavilion, we’ll be back there next time! See you at #FIA2016"
GKN AEROSPACE - TWITTER
The stunning design, the quality of the fit-out and the responsiveness of your team are a real credit to your company, and I have received nothing but positive comments from GKN top management and guests alike.
CHARLES PATERSON, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & STRATEGY, GKN AEROSPACE