Airport Frankfurt
Check in Counter made of Fiberglass
and Advertising Clusters


Frankfurt Airport was 1970 a very big building site. The old terminal and the runway system was in use during construction of the new terminal. I was driving along this building site and saw the very big building sign with all the Architects and construction companies mentioned. My thoughts where, is there also some job for us?. I went to the architects office, a big flat wooden building in the nearby forest, and hat the opportunity to speak with some architects. As I mentioned fiberglass, all ears where eager to listen what I had to say, It was the time, all new material was interesting to hear and see from. I ask for work, and talked about our capability. Some architect came up with the question, can I make my window protector bars from fiberglass. I said spontaneously, yes why not, let me see your design idea, it was a horizontal bar endless in length and 25 cm high and 8 cm thick. From now on I was twice a week in that office. One day I saw some big drawings from check in counters and I mentioned to the responsible architect, that this is, what I am looking for, that would be great to make this from fiberglass. Nobody believed that such big things could be made of fiberglass. The next day I brought some big samples of our program and their eyes went big.

When they saw this units, they started immediately to draw new counters from fiberglass. The drawings they brought to paper where for the trash. I had to give them first the guideline what was possible to make in fiberglass and how it should be constructed, because fiberglass is laid up in about 6 mm of thickness instead of wood, where they where used to use 20 mm chipboard with Formica on top. My advice was very welcome and together we came up with a very practical and beautiful counter design. I had to invest a lot of time, but as we came to business questions, I was told, that they could not give me the order free hand. A tender procedure hat to be started and they need to know some competing companies from me.

I was not able to name other companies, because what we just designed, was some thing completely new and not done from others so far. There where companies in the fiberglass industry, but on very different sectors, like technical parts for the Railway Industry, electric turbines Industry, and airframe Industry. Such companies I could tell them and they have send them the tender documents. All of them where large company conglomerates, some had no interest at all, on furniture like work, others where full of work from there own company and again others calculated such big prices that I could really compete with, because they had to much overhead cost due to the size of that companies. My price was in the lower middle and because I was almost the designer and was knowing all details at best, this order was placed to me.

But anyway, it was a big risk for the airport to place the order with me as a small workshop with only 15 employees. But I promised to manage this Order very well and on time delivery that finally the order was placed to me without giving a guarantee bond or something like it. We had now to manufacture, deliver and install 567 Counters within 6 month. We fulfilled that order in good quality and in time, and gained an excellent name from the airport management. So that we got additional orders whenever some rearrangements had to be made or new sectors of the airport terminal where required. Our Counter served the airport for 29 years before in the year 2000 a complete renovation of the airport asked also for new architects new designs and completely new material.

To use fiberglass for airport counters,
Frankfurt Airport was the first in the world 1972.
We, FG Design Wolfgang Feierbach GmbH, where considered the specialist in airport interior design and we got work to do, from 70 International airports around the World. Totally we made in 30 years, 40.000 Counter of all kind. This brought up many competitors in many countries and today 2003. I am estimating that about 100.000 fiberglass counter exist around worldwide airports. Many are just simple copies from ours, others are different designs and different methods of manufacturing. But the hundred thousand are so many that younger architects do not like it any more, and they call it the plastic design aera and go back to stainless steel,glass and veneered wood again, back to more traditional material in newest technique. This was the reason that I have developed a completely new material Polycristalit, a cast stony like composite material, a colored solid resin compound in the look of granite.

The requirement at airports did not stop with airline counters only, passport booths, custom control benches, flight informationŐs, shops, refreshment counters, telephone booths, and advertisement equipment all this subjects where requested from us to make it mostly in corporate design by large airports. More than 300 advertisement clusters like here shown where made for Frankfurt airport and others.

The advertisement clusters where made from two peaceŐs fiberglass shells and two legs from steel. The legs where fixed to the rear housing where also the light tubes where fixed. The front housing was a 3 frames fiberglass unit, where Plexiglas sheets where fixed and in between was a original enlarged photofilm installed. hundreds of this clusters where installed along the km of corridors at Frankfurt airport..

Advertisement clusters

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Wolfgang Feierbach
Wolfgang Feierbach, FG Design

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