The Design for the Mitsubishi Plastics ALPOLIC Fair Stand for BAU2017 presents a further elaboration of the design, which UNStudio created for the same company for BAU2015. Both Stands emphasise the specific characteristics of the material ALPOLIC as an ultra-light and very strong façade material with the excellent fire resistance class A2, whilst simultaneously displaying their homogenous and very durable fluoropolymer coating methods.

Messe München, Germany; UNStudio

ALPOLIC: ultra-light and strong façade material 100
smart fabrication solutions 100
cone-shaped spaces 100

While the previous stand was designed around a three-dimensional cladding pattern, the design for BAU2017 further explores these three-dimensional potentials by transforming the material into a spatial structure.

year of completion

In order to emphasise the exceptional strength of the material and its possibilities for innovative façade application, the stand is designed as a fully self-supporting, ultra-thin feature without any additional structural elements. The geometry draws from principles, which exist in nature to create stability and strength, such as the venation of leaves or the natural behaviour of catenary lines in spider webs.

Making use of parametric design techniques and smart fabrication solutions, the stand is built up based on a single structural element, which is mirrored and rotated in several directions and combines fabrication efficiency with various cone-shaped spaces. These cone-shaped spaces display either the front side of the material with the coated panels or the untreated back side, revealing the structural ribbons and the technical build up of the thin sandwich panels. For the coated front side, a prismatic finish with Lumiflon ® FEVE fluoropolymer technology is used. This combines the durable qualities of the coating with the ever-changing effects of pearlescent pigments.

The result is a variety of different spaces to be explored by the visitor, with some areas showing the feature as a three-dimensional façade, while in others the technical principles of the material can be explored. Both open up towards semi-enclosed spaces and invite visitors to the stand to enter for more information and enclosed gatherings. The stand is completed by a back wall where large samples of ALPOLIC sheets are displayed. Throughout the stand moments for discussion and reflection are created, together creating a journey of inspiration for innovative façade design.

fact file:
  • project : ALPOLIC fair stand BAU 2017, Munich, January 2017
  • location: Messe München, Germany
  • client: Mitsubishi Plastics, Inc.
  • building surface: 90-sq.m
  • building volume: 536-cu.m
  • programme: Fair stand for construction fair BAU 2017
  • credits
    • UNStudio: Ben van Berkel, Gerard Loozekoot with René Wysk, Filippo Lodi and Alexander Kalachev, Nanang Santoso, Jörg Stanzel, Jung Jae Suh
  • advisors
    • contractor alpolic feature: Sorba projects bv., Netherlands
    • contractor stand: Meplan Gmbh, Germany


photographs : UNStudio.

UNStudio, founded in 1988 by Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, is a Dutch architectural design studio specializing in architecture, urban development and infrastructural projects. The name, UNStudio, stands for United Network Studio, referring to the collaborative nature of the practice. In 2009 UNStudio Asia was established, with its first office located in Shanghai, China. UNStudio Shanghai is a full daughter of UNStudio and is intricately connected to UNStudio Amsterdam. Initially serving to facilitate the design process for the Raffles City project in Hangzhou, UNStudio Shanghai has expanded into a full-service design office with a multinational team of all-round and specialist architects. In 2014 we opened our third office in Hong Kong.

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