Thales Group – Farnborough International Airshow
To create a state-of-the-art exhibition, business and hospitality centre for leading aerospace and defence technology company Thales Group for the 2014 and 2016 Farnborough International Airshow.
The design had to ensure Thales Group’s guests could view all the action of the magnificent air displays from the comfort of their complex, which also needed to incorporate business meeting facilities, Press rooms, exhibition space and hospitality and networking areas.
Neptunus was appointed by airshow organisers Farnborough International Limited (FIL), in conjunction with Thales Group – one of the biggest names in the aerospace and defence industry providing electronic onboard equipment and ground-based systems to commercial aviation businesses and major air forces around the world.
The contract to provide the facility, as part of a two-show arrangement, followed a highly competitive tender process.
Neptunus’ creative team provided the perfect solution with bespoke adaptations to its popular Evolution range which for the very first time was built to a height of three stories with two internal mezzanine floors. The 1,600 square metres Evolution building, erected on 13.6 metre tall legs, provided unobstructed views across the airfield from its spacious viewing balcony.
Working closely with Thales Group and its Exhibitions and Events team, Neptunus was responsible for the entire project including the internal fit-out which involved ground-floor exhibition space, press accommodation, meeting rooms; a dining area for VIP guests on the first floor and a second-floor bistro and bar where guests could enjoy superb views from the external balcony.
The Evolution is ideally suited to events like the airshow as it can be constructed quickly in any location without comprising on the quality of the finished building. Insulated walls and the double-skinned, air-filled roof help to maintain a comfortable interior while reducing climate control costs and emissions.
The mezzanines are strong enough to support hanging exhibits and Neptunus also arranged air conditioning, electrics, washrooms and kitchens for the facility, along with all the floor coverings, telecoms, furnishings, graphics, fire-fighting equipment and even the flowers and cleaners.
Set several rows back from the runway and with business chalets situated immediately in front of Thales’ location, the facility required additional height to enable totally unobstructed views right across the airfield from the viewing balcony.
Neptunus are specialists in building three-storey structures which have appeared at top sporting occasions such as Royal Ascot and London 2012 but Farnborough International 2014 was the first occasion the Evolution system had been built with two internal mezzanines. Technicians achieved the feat by introducing 13.6 metre legs that allowed mezzanines with 4.5 metre high ceilings to be created with a large ground floor entrance atrium.
Neptunus’ technicians took just three weeks to erect the structure and the company was then responsible for overseeing all aspects of the intricate internal fit-out.
Neptunus was awarded the contract following a highly competitive Tender process and the finished product was identical to the concept Neptunus’ designer originally envisaged when submitting their plans 18 months earlier.
A spokesperson for Thales Group said: “We are very pleased to have worked with Neptunus on this project and we are having a very successful show. We have received many compliments from senior management and guests.’’
Neptunus also went on to deliver the structure with up-dated internal fit-out for the Farnborough International Airshow in 2016.