The Mercedes star on the “Bonn-Center“ of the former German capital was not only a trademark, but also a distinctive symbol of the Federal Republic of Germany. It was installed on the high-rise building in the late 1960s and rotated – brightly illuminated at night – for more than 45 years. On 24 February 2017, it was removed and stored initially due to the pending demolition of the building. Today, Mercedes-Benz presents the famous signet to the officially recognized Mercedes-Benz brand club vdh – www.mercedesclubs.de/ e. V., which will make the Mercedes star the centrepiece of its planned museum at the location in Ornbau, Germany. The opening of the exhibition in honour of the Mercedes-Benz brand and its vehicles in a specially built building is planned for 2019.
Stuttgart. For almost 50 years, the Mercedes star of the former “Bonn-Center” shone above the erstwhile German capital. It was a particularly present symbol for the seat of government of the Federal Republic – not just in Bonn itself, but through photos and television images in the whole world.
This important cultural asset will get a new future home in the planned museum of vdh e. V. With this project, Mercedes-Benz underscores the engagement in the active cultivation of the brand history twofold: On one hand, it benefits the work of a dedicated brand club. On the other, the Bonn Mercedes star is also significant from the perspective of the brand history. This star is a white star as was used in earlier days. Today, the trademarks have a silver-metallic shine, just like the Mercedes stars used as bonnet ornaments have always done.
“The fact that this Mercedes star will be exhibited in a museum dedicated to our brand is of great significance to us“, says Christian Boucke, Head of Mercedes-Benz Classic. “It is part of our brand history and at the same time an important contemporary witness of the “Bonn Federal Republic’. In future, everybody will be able to visit it for the first time and admire it almost at eye level”.
The Mercedes star has a diameter of eight metres and is thus about as tall as a two-storey house. On the “Bonn-Center”, it completed one full turn in two minutes. Powerful lighting ensured the star radiated brightly at night from the roof of the former high-rise building.
“We are delighted that we are presented with this historical Mercedes star and that we will be able to exhibit it in our new museum as the centrepiece”, says Horst Stümpfig, First Chairman of vdh – www.mercedesclubs.de e. V. “It will be a key exhibit of the exhibition concept that features a host of vehicles. It will contribute to creating an impressive and unique setting“ .
With some 7000 members, vdh e. V. is one of the largest officially recognised brand clubs in Germany and is dedicated to the cultivation of the cultural assets that classic Mercedes-Benz vehicles represent. The planned club museum in Ornbau, Middle Franconia, a little under 20 kilometres south of Ansbach, will play a key role in the work of the club in future. The opening is planned for 2019.
The famous trademark will also celebrate an anniversary in 2019: On 24 June 1909, Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (DMG) applied for a design patent on the three-pointed star. It is used as a bonnet ornament since 1910 – and continues to be one of the world’s most famous trademarks to this day. During the merger between DMG and Benz & Cie. in 1926 to form then Daimler-Benz AG, the product signets of the two companies were merged as well: Since then, the three-pointed star on the badge of every Mercedes-Benz is surrounded by the laurel wreath – on passenger and commercial vehicles.
Worldwide, there are 80 brand clubs officially recognised by Mercedes-Benz, with around 100,000 members in all. Mercedes-Benz Classic honours and supports their work through the professional Club Management and provides services such as establishing important contacts for workshops, parts supply, vehicle trade and the archives of Mercedes-Benz Classic.
The Mercedes star on the roof was the shining symbol on the “Bonn-Center“ visible for miles around. The high-rise building was built from 1968 to 1969 based on a design by Berlin architect Friedrich Wilhelm Gerasch as the first large commercial centre in the former parliament and government district. With 18 storeys and a total height of 60 metres, it was one of the tallest buildings in Bonn. In addition to public businesses and a hotel, the reinforced concrete construction housed numerous office floors, whose tenants included members and staff of the nearby German Federal Parliament and other governmental institutions, embassies, and associations. This made the “Bonn-Center” an important institution in the former government and business life in Bonn. To make room for a new construction project, after being gutted it was demolished with explosives and collapsed as planned on 19 March 2017.