• Tom Postma Design

    Entrance TEFAF Art Fair Maastricht

    Maastricht, Netherlands

Project Summary


The TEFAF Art Fair in Maastricht, Netherlands, is the world’s largest international exhibition of art, antiques, and design. The show occupies existing galleries and halls as well as site-specific installations in public spaces. Tom Postma Design, a global leader in creating art exhibitions with MicroStation, was retained to design an entrance for the prestigious event that promotes both the arts and the city. The challenge was to deliver a sustainable, complex piece of décor that could be removed and reused following the end of the fair.


The scope of work for this project included adopting complex forms and geometry to design a structure made from light-weight material. Tom Postma Design used MicroStation to model a solid block in the shape of the venue space, and then cut out shapes via sculptor modeling. These shapes were cut into thin, curved segments that could be unrolled to create 2D drawings for production. MicroStation’s ability to design efficiently and share output to quickly respond to changes reduced costs in the construction phase.


Using Bentley software, Tom Postma created a customized, reusable structure with a three-year lifecycle, ensuring the use of sustainable materials and the ability to reuse the décor for the prestigious art exhibition. The entrance is built of truss material and 'theaterdoek' (heavy cloth), both of which are sustainable materials. It was also decorated by a sculptural flower created by wires connecting thousands of flowers.


Animating and rendering with MicroStation enabled Tom Postma Design to visualize the complex shapes and geometry of the entrance, including strips made from cheese cloth, and deliver a precise and complete design. Project collaboration increased by using 3D PDFs and 2D drawings that came directly from the 3D model. The 3D model diminished risks and streamlined the design process allowing the design team to see direct consequences of any changes. Exchanging drawings and 3D PDFs with the project team and builders and producing DWGs facilitated collaboration, saving time and costs.

Project Playbook: MicroStation

  • Tom Postma Design is responsible for the design of the fair, which includes two large restaurants, several cafes, bars, lounge areas, and a spectacular entrance hall that leads visitors from the ordinary world into art collector’s paradise.
  • Using MicroStation to create the complex, reusable structure saved significant time and costs during construction and delivery.
  • “With MicroStation, you can design it all! What other design software could visualize the complex forms in this design and create the production drawings as well?”

    Job Goedhart Design Director Tom Postma Design