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Category: International Designer   Exhibitor: Eternit AG  Design:Astrid Bornheim Architektur, Berlin, 49-30-4403-7735, www.astridbornheim.de  Fabrication: Zeissig GmbH & Co. KG, Springe, Germany, 49-50-41-649-0, www.zeissig.de   Show: Bau, 2013  Budget: $250,000 – $499,000   Size: 46-by-90 feet

PHOTOS: Astrid Bornheim Architektur
A House Divided
By Cynthya Porter

There is a narrow sliver of the exhibit design echelon where form and function collide in a manner that makes Exhibit Design Awards judges swoon. But this exhibit for Eternit AG, maker of fiber cement products for the building industry, hit the sweet spot, capturing a Gold Award for the company and vaulting it into the annals of minimalist greatness.

Built in the shape of a house, Eternit's exhibit appeared to have been sliced like a loaf of bread and splayed over the length of the 46-by-90-foot space. The shell of the structure consisted of thin ribs and roof beams spread apart to reveal the innards of the display, an intentional metaphor of the company's transparency with clients, said Astrid Bornheim Architektur's public relations manager Jan Krause.


Inside the booth, white and muted-gray surfaces provided a sophisticated canvas for showcasing Eternit's fiber cement building products, which had been crafted into tables and benches, framed as if they were pieces of fine art, and used on interior walls to form two conference rooms. The subtle sell of incorporating products in the exhibit's construction allowed Eternit to devote more space to lounges rather than traditional product displays, Krause said.

Sensuous in its simplicity, the booth had a few dashes of corporate red and green on floors and walls to accentuate pathways and seating areas. Against the achromatic palette, that kiss of color added drama and elevated the sculptural booth to sophisticated artwork in the eyes of judges. "That juxtaposition attracted attention and effectively drew the eye exactly where Eternit wanted it," one judge said.

Considering that the structure is expected to last five years and can grow and shrink to accommodate a variety of different exhibit spaces, it's clear that Eternit got the maximum return on its minimalist investment.E

Interior Design
By constructing its exhibit out of thin, vertical wafers and stretching the pieces out over 90 feet, Eternit AG fostered a sense of transparency and accessibility with attendees, who could see throughout the space and enter at any point. Splashes of color added drama and interest in a way Exhibit Design Awards judges called "restrained and beautiful."

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