S71 Gepard fast patrol boat
Exhibition design, orientation system, graphic design, print products, design of the exhibition media, contents
Fast, agile, dangerous: this was a reputation garnered by the fast patrol boats of the German federal navy. For more than 30 years, the Gepard-class (143A) was in service on different assignments. Since June 2106, the type boat S71 Gepard, which was decommissioned in 2015, has completed the museum harbour of the German Naval Museum, which provides an overview of the different types of ships and weapons of the German Navy.
The walk-in exhibition on board deals with the ship’s technical equipment, explains the function of the engines and armaments, and gives an overview of the ship’s interior. The exhibition narrative is complemented by contemporary historical and political contexts. Designed for rapid deployment in the Cold War, the nature of the assignments carried out by the fast attack boats shifted with the end of the Eastern Bloc to international missions such as UN missions in the Mediterranean.
Whatever assignment the fast patrol boats took on, the particularly difficult conditions under which crews had to live and work together on the boats remained unchanged. A lack of space, few sleeping places and scarcely calculated provisions made missions on the fast attack boats a difficult undertaking. This also led, however, to a special sense of solidarity among the crew. In video interviews, former crew members provide information about the social aspects, but also about the individual tasks on board. The videos can be viewed at designated points on the boat
The tour of the fast patrol boat follows the logic of the ship as well as the requirements of visitor orientation. All accessible areas have been carefully provided with explanatory material, mini-screens are inconspicuously integrated into the existing equipment.
Areas without daylight such as the machine room or the operating room were illuminated by spotlights or lighting management.
The signs used in the orientation system and the exhibition texts stand out from the grey hull of the speedboat and its nautical equipment and signs.
The clear and sober design of the graphics enables visitors to find their way around on board the ship: clearly legible signs, general plans and direction arrows give structure to the tour.
A table on the quay of the Museum Harbour gives an overview of all ships in the Museum Harbour and tells their history. It is also equipped with bright red symbols and graphics.
In order to fill the decommissioned speedboat with life, contemporary witnesses report in videos about their experiences and work on the boat. The clips, filmed and compiled especially for the exhibition, are dedicated to the various topics on board. IGLHAUT + von GROTE were in charge of the concept, scripting and editing.
IGLHAUT + von GROTE advised the museum team on the conceptual preparation of the fast attack boat. IGLHAUT + von GROTE’s main task in terms of content was to develop, conduct and film the interviews with contemporary witnesses.