“For customers, the Creation Center is a kind of app store that’s equipped with our expertise. It’s not a showroom, but an environment that offers our customers new ways of working and experiencing our competencies in an open-minded and creative space,” explained Guiscard Glück, vice president, New Markets and Products.
A former air-raid bunker belonging to the BASF site is being expanded for this purpose, using an innovative style of architecture. Creation Centers will also be implemented at other BASF locations in Tokyo (Japan), Shanghai (China) and Wyandotte (USA).
designfabrik and the Ultrasim Simulation Tool
At the heart of the Creation Center concept is the meshing of the real material world with the latest digital possibilities, focusing on the customer, the market and future trends. With designfabrik, there is already a unique facility in which BASF designers can work with customers to develop new products using material samples. It is currently located at the Ludwigshafen site and will be moved to the bunker opposite Gate 2 once the building is complete. The concept also includes BASF’s in-house simulation technology Ultrasim, which is used for the virtual development of real solutions and has been established on the market for many years. By combining comprehensive computer-aided methods combined with state-of-the-art visualization technologies and 3-D-printed sample components, BASF is paving the way for a new dimension in cooperation with customers and partners. Construction work started in March. The building shell is set to be completed in the fall, with the Creation Center scheduled to open in mid-2019.
The Creation Center concept in action with the start-up Holo-Light
Specialists in simulation at BASF have joined forces with the start-up Holo-Light to develop an application that will allow simulation results to be displayed three-dimensionally as holographic overlays. Mixed-reality glasses are used to show interactive 3-D projections such as building elements or furniture in the immediate surroundings. This makes it easier to comprehend complex geometries and to identify material properties. The collaboration grew out of the STARTUP AUTOBAHN project, an innovation platform that connects start-ups and companies. “Using this jointly developed application, work processes at BASF can be significantly optimized. With mixed reality, we offer a new form of information processing, communication, and interaction,” said Florian Haspinger, CEO of Holo-Light. “The collaboration with Holo-Light shows that BASF can also be successful with young companies. We will build on this dynamic in the new Creation Center,” adds Glück.
A cuboid structure with a side length of 22 meters will be built on top of the bunker, creating an area of around 1,000 square meters over two floors. This part of the building will be accessed via a stair tower and an elevator. The curtain wall is composed of organic shapes and features interesting visual interplay between light and shadow. The facade therefore reflects the concept of networking and the world of plastic materials.