Bayer tower to be converted into a media facade
Former headquarters building not to be demolished / Large moving pictures to be formed by 3.5 million LEDs / Media sculpture visible from miles around to be completed in spring 2009
Leverkusen – Bayer’s high-rise former headquarters building in Leverkusen is not to be demolished, but will soon be lighting up the sky in a completely new guise – no longer as an office building but as an ultra-modern media facade. By converting the tower into a media sculpture visible for miles around, Bayer AG aims to create a contemporary visualization of the company at its global headquarters. After the last remaining departments have been relocated to other buildings, the 122-meter tower will be gutted and used as an impressive communications tool for the chemicals and health care company. The new media facade is due for completion in spring 2009.
“By converting the former headquarters building into a media facade, we’re expressing the fact that as an innovative, research-based company, we’re also progressive in the way we think and act as far as communications are concerned. At the same time we’re gaining a new sign that will be visible for miles around – a symbol of the presence of our company’s global headquarters here in the area,” says Bayer Management Board Chairman Werner Wenning.
“We will be creating one of the largest media facades in the world and at the same time charting new territory, particularly in terms of the size of the construction. Modern technology will enable us to have a large Bayer cross shining out day and night, and get messages across to the public in a really eye-catching way,” adds Bayer AG’s Head of Communications, Heiner Springer.
The Leverkusen high-rise already made headlines throughout the world in 1999, when it was wrapped like a giant Aspirin pack to celebrate the product’s centennial. New technology available today will enable Bayer to use the building as a constantly changing media facade. Almost anything will be possible – from a product pack to artistic designs, photos or film sequences. And whatever form the images take, they will be visible well beyond the city of Leverkusen.
Part of the electricity required will be generated by a specially designed, environment-friendly solar collector, reducing not only operating costs, but also CO2 emissions.
The conversion work is planned to start in June of this year. The tower situated on the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Allee will then be gutted, leaving just the steel frame and ceiling constructions. After that the building will be wrapped in a transparent, weatherproof stainless steel fabric with a surface area of 17,500 square meters. Some 3.5 million LEDs will be embedded in the grid structure to enable animated images and light effects to be created.
Using the latest technology, it will also be possible to display a Bayer Cross approximately 40 meters in diameter on the east and west facades of the tower, irrespective of the time of day. All this will make Bayer’s high-rise a conspicuous landmark throughout the area, proclaiming the location of the company’s global headquarters. When the media facade is completed, the existing Bayer Cross above the chemical park by the B8 highway will be removed.
Market research has shown reaction to the planned media facade to be favorable among employees and also the general public, both in Leverkusen and further afield. According to the representative survey, a large majority of people welcome the idea of giving the former headquarters building this new function. The new communication concept is considered modern and aesthetically appealing at the same time. Respondents to the survey believe that in this way Bayer will successfully combine tradition with modernity and pioneer spirit.
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