Hornall Anderson (the same creative force that brought us the Alaska rebrand) has partnered with Airbus Group to design a brand new experience center. Located in the heart of the capitol district in Washington, DC, the center was created to showcase their industry leading products and demonstrate how Airbus is working to shape the future of aerospace in the commercial, defense and space industries. Approximately half of the 20,000 sq. ft. space is dedicated to the state-of-the-art Experience Center, with the balance being used for office space. The integrated work-plus-showcase design reinforces the character of Airbus Group as a global leader, with interactive tools for the brand to tell its expansive story to a wide range of audiences.
“Hornall Anderson created a dynamic experience and storytelling space that enables us to personalize the journey based on who is visiting,” says Rick McGivern, Airbus Group Vice President, Group Experience Team. “It allows us to demonstrate many of our industry-leading innovations, and helps us detail the Airbus Group people and places in the US and beyond, our industry partners, and how we are improving the way everyone travels, secures and defends, here in the US and around the world.”
The Airbus Experience Center utilizes state-of-the art technology and interactive displays, providing elements of discovery to help elevate conversations. The most impressive of these can be found in the Briefing Room, located after the reception area which features a ceiling oculus offers a bird’s eye view of the earth with simulated flight paths and satellite orbits. The briefing room is entered through synchronised doors, built to look and feel like aircraft wings. A sweeping 30-foot wall stands in front of a touchscreen table where visitors can intuitively explore featured Airbus Group stories. Upon selection, a mosaic of frames project onto the adjacent wall using data visualization techniques. The interactive content is easily customized and updated to appeal to the range of audiences.
The Innovation Gallery is built for real avgeeks and celebrates the tireless pursuit of Airbus Group, from an engineless glider that can fly at the edge of space to more effective ways of training aircraft pilots. Featuring both analog and digital installations, the museum-like environment prioritizes experience over traditional placards, and opens to a workspace where visitors can partner on future breakthroughs.
“Airbus is the global industry leader, with a focus on the future,” says Mark Buchalter, Director of Experience Design at Hornall Anderson. “We were excited to help Airbus present their incredible story and reinforce the impact they’ve had — and will continue to have — on the whole of the aerospace industry. We believe that no one has seen anything like this before, and through their trust and support we were able to create an amazing experience that gives them a great platform to highlight their people and products both in the US and across the globe, along with a powerful tool to connect with their customers, partners and industry influencers.”
Beyond a secret opening revealed by a moving wall, visitors encounter a 40-foot-long Fleet Wall. When activated, projected imagery and interactive 3D models animate across the sculpted surface. Leveraging depth, scale and motion, visitors are immersed in a one-of-a-kind look at the breadth of commercial, helicopter, defense and aerospace products.
Traveling between the showcase and collaborative workspace, visitors walk the Skywalk Corridor. Ten windows line the ceiling, each with high-resolution motion graphics that evolve from the daytime Contrail view which tracks flight patterns, to Galaxy mode with views of satellites orbiting the night sky.
Hornall Anderson have brought Airbus to life, the execution is flawless, and sympathetic to the architectural environment, whilst injecting the energy and passion that anyone visiting this centre will most likely have before even stepping inside the 20,000ft space.
The centre officially opened last week. Although not open to the general public, tours and visits are available upon request and by appointment with Airbus Group.