Following completion of an extensive renovation in December 2012, visitors will be able to experience the history, development and production of the long-standing Czech automobile manufacturer hands-on. ŠKODA AUTO wants the redesigned museum to allow people to learn about the origins of today’s global brand. The new museum is housed in one of the first ŠKODA factory buildings.
Together, ŠKODA and Mladá Boleslav firmly belong at the heart of the European automobile industry. The museum reopening underlines once again how important ŠKODA AUTO’s history is to its current brand identity. Highlights of Czech engineering expertise will be on display over an area of 1,800 m2, including around 45 automobiles, bicycles and motorcycles as well as a wide range of other exhibits from the company’s history.
The exhibition incorporates the latest interaction and communications findings to present ŠKODA history from different angles and appeal to the broadest-possible target audience. Additional restored ŠKODA vehicles will therefore be regularly integrated into the exhibition. Alternating exhibits in this way will allow constant new discoveries and surprises, and encourage visitors to return to the museum, located adjacent to the brand’s main plant in Mladá Boleslav. Additional special exhibitions and an attractive supplementary programme will ensure that the museum makes a lively contribution to ŠKODA corporate culture and public life in Mladá Boleslav.
Margit Adamová Černá, head of the ŠKODA Museum, explains: “ŠKODA’s rich past will not only be presented in depth in the new museum, but also brought to life in an emotional way for the first time.”
The realignment of the ŠKODA Museum will also play a key role in brand communications. The museum’s attractive design and clear structure reflect the ŠKODA brand’s core values: a focus on the essential, a people-centred approach and the element of surprise in “simply clever” details.
Visitors can experience a fascinating selection of historic ŠKODA vehicles in the new ŠKODA Museum and familiarise themselves with the main phases in the development of the automobile. “The museum will present the historic ŠKODA collection in a fresh and modern design that fits perfectly with the architecture of the former factory buildings,” adds Professor Thomas Hundt, the creative director responsible for museum and exhibition design at jangled nerves agency from Stuttgart.
The ŠKODA Museum will be divided into three areas that guide the visitor through the history of the company and its vehicle development:
- Automotive “gems” from different eras will be on display in the “Tradition” section. The visitor will find not only attractive cars, but also inspiring contrasts. Different ŠKODA brand values are highlighted under the headings “What drives us”, “What is important to us” and “What challenges us”. Historic vehicles are displayed in pairs to show visitors trends in automotive development. Further exhibits in display cases, wall charts and a permanent video presentation provide additional information to back up these impressions.
- In the “Evolution” section, the tour of ŠKODA history begins with company founders Václav Klement and Václav Laurin. ŠKODA vehicles presented in chronological order illustrate the most important milestones in vehicle development. Displayed on “shelves”, a collection of automotive icons provides visitors with an impressive overview of alternative vehicle exhibits. The room also features a parallel series of images and exhibits showcasing ŠKODA’s technical history. Media installations, films and interactive boards offer additional explanation of the exhibits. A so-called “ŠKODALab” also provides a glimpse of the future, while the adjacent library allows more in-depth research into the brand’s history.
- The third major exhibition area is all about “Production” and restoration, focusing on Mladá Boleslav’s key role as central production location and wellspring of the company’s tradition. In the “Workshop”, automobiles from earlier days are restored using the latest methods. Four raised platforms display cars in various stages of restoration – from “barn finds” to “gems“, with additional exhibits presented on a workbench. Large-scale picture panels, flip albums and projections bring the historic production facility to life. A panorama cinema offers an up-close experience of modern-day production.
The L&K hall in the heart of the museum is a multifunctional auditorium with 930 m2 of space for events and special exhibitions. This function room can be expanded and opened up to the “Tradition” and “Production” exhibition areas. The foyer is also multifunctional in design and can host smaller receptions. The new ŠKODA Museum also features a museum shop and a bright and modern café-restaurant.