Project Halo

The Nissan Halo comprises three independently cantilevering oval rings creating an internal Amphitheatre Experience. The Halo, part of Nissan’s “Innovation that Excites” brand concept, was conceived by George P Johnson Experience Marketing (GPJ) for the car manufacturer’s global auto show presence.

Our team provided structural engineering and computational modelling services, helping to realise the concept design with GPJ and deliver the final Halo structure alongside fabricators Prolyte and Brilliant Stages. Detroit was the first destination for the Halo concept, which began its journey across North America, Europe and Asia in early 2013.

The booth offers an amphitheatre experience with tiered seating/standing space around a focal stage, beneath and within the Halo. The rings are formed from lightweight long-span faceted aluminium structural elements, clad with curved dibond panels to generate the smooth ovular shape and finished with tensioned white fabric sleeves. A steel structural frame provides stability and support to carry the wraparound LED video wall and frame the central stage.

This arrangement forms a unique transparent enclosure with a dais clearly visible to large numbers of people. For the purposes of practicality and sustainability, the Halo can be erected quickly, is constructed from standardised components, and can be fully dismantled and re-assembled without generating waste or scrap material.

Three separate structures of varying dimensions were fabricated for use at different shows around the world, with the Asian Halo being the largest at 38m long and 24m wide with a 30m cantilever.
We accurately determined the final deflection of the rings before installation and designed a structure flexible enough to form the curved final shape but strong enough to carry its loads. By test fitting parts of the structure, we iteratively updated our digital models to reflect actual material behaviour.

The rear wall hides a steel frame to carry the rings and the LED display. Steel base members extend beneath the stage, with load transferred to the floor slab through strategically placed bearing pads. This frame, also clad with Dibond panels, is large enough to act as both structural support and ballast against toppling.

Our understanding of the industry and our ability to produce complex designs in a short amount of time meant the entire programme for the initial Halo was realised within a four-month period, including four weeks of shipping between the UK to Detroit.

The Halo debuted at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit where Roel de Vries, VP Global Marketing for Nissan, stated: “You see it in our vehicle design, we always try to push boundaries, to find the next thing. This motor show project was all about that.” Nissan’s aspiration of an innovative, daring design led to the Asian stand design winning the coveted "Best Creative Booth Award” at Auto Shanghai 2013.

Anton Sawicki, Ramboll Design Director, reflects: “For us, the satisfaction in the design solution is how it complements the client’s intent by using materials and form to their optimum inherent performance.”

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