Visitor Center

How the world’s largest chemical company seeks to become climate-neutral

Net zero emissions by 2050 – the goal of chemical giant BASF. A new exhibition at the BASF Visitor Center in Ludwigshafen shows how the energy-intensive company is facing up to the challenges of this energy and raw material transformation and how it intends to solve this formidable task.

Major transformations have a need for visions: New ways of thinking and working together must be tested, new technologies and processes developed, and innovations implemented. The world's largest chemical company, BASF, is actively working on this transformation, relying on a mix of measures that will enable climate-neutral production: the development of renewable energy sources, the development of lower CO2 technologies and production processes, and the increased use of bio-based raw materials. To visualize the concrete implementation of these plans, Milla & Partner designed an exhibition that – embedded in the visitor center – gives experts as well as non-specialists insights into new technologies, the energy transformation and the circular economy of the Ludwigshafen-based company.

Connecting people, systems and production equipment to maximize efficiency and expertise.

On Level 5 of the approximately 2,000 sqm large Visitor Center, guests can explore the detailed strategic plan and use interactive exhibits to learn more about the tools for its implementation. The central element of the 100 sqm exhibition is a 9-meter, floor-to-ceiling wall that structurally translates the corporate composite system principle: Infrastructure, processes, products and people interlock seamlessly at BASF to form the unique and fundamental basis that is symbolized here as a slot-in spatial sculpture.

„A composite system is the sum of all parts: Individual components join or combine to create something new of value. In the process, the proven components can change and transformation becomes directly visible, even tangible.”

Markus Schmid, Project Management at Milla & Partner

Made of wood and arranged in a 60 by 60 cm grid, the expansive composite wall represents the system that has grown over decades and into which new, forward-looking components are now being integrated: Color-coded to match the subject, showcases, text panels and hands-on exhibits on large control panels complement the free-standing sculpture and form a powerful gesture together - the plug-in structure becomes an extended communication level.

How can we do it? Thematic focal points energy transformation, raw material cycle, renewable raw materials

The first of the three interactive stations is dedicated to energy transformation. A stylized model shows how factory sites around the world will become more sustainable in the coming years: Visitors can follow different stages of development via rotary controls and superimposed projections and observe how the constant transition to renewable energy sources and the use of innovative technologies are influencing CO2-neutral production at BASF.

The circular economy topic is illustrated at the second station using an interactive puzzle. At the third exhibit, renewable raw materials are communicated via printed 3D objects that activate the screen with the help of their RFID chip and a scanner to open up additional levels of in-depth knowledge. Boards with texts, graphics and diagrams embedded in the wall as well as showcases with exemplary products and materials complete the thematic presentation of each exhibit station.

Thanks to the interlocking of spatial design, media design and communication design, interested parties are given fast and intuitive access to the content. This allows them to playfully understand what the specific challenges - but above all the potentials - of current and future measures are to achieve BASF's climate goals.

„Climate change and environmental protection are the greatest challenges of the 21st century, and can only be overcome by working together. With the exhibition, we want to show transparently what our concrete conversion measures are on the way to becoming a climate-neutral company. Visitors should experience that chemistry and sustainability are not at all mutually exclusive.”

Ben Dostert, Communications Specialist Visitor Center at BASF
  • Development of exhibition dramaturgy and spatial staging
  • Development of customer journey
  • Concept, design and planning of all space-creating measures
  • Concept, editing and design of all exhibition content and exhibits
  • Development and design of an analog graphic concept

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