Helmut Angerer, CEO of CONCEPTLICHT GmbH from Traunreut and in authority for the complete lighting design of the Kulturpalast.
Mr Angerer, thank you for this interview. How do you tackle such a big project as the Kulturpalast?
HA: Prior to thinking about a lighting concept, I have a closer look into the meaning of the building. The Kulturpalast is located in the middle of Dresdens inner city and is surrounded by supraregionally renowned landmarks. Therefore, in our view, the building has to integrate at nocturnal illumination into this picture, corresponding to its significance.
A project like this certainly presents one or the other challenge, right?
HA: That’s correct. The recesses in the roof soffit were situated very close to the facade, and the arcade has a height of approximately 5.70 meters. To avoid unintended lighting of the facade or the arcade columns, it was clear that this was only possible with luminaires which were particularly developed for this building. We perfectly succeeded due to our detailled planning and the support of LMT, who had to match many luminaires exactly to the existing recesses.
Also the adaptation of the lighting to the external conditions was challenging. You have to imagine, that the surrounding historic monuments are all illuminated in a warm white light, such as the Frauenkirche: seen from the Altmarkt place, it is in inseparable visual connection with the Kulturpalast. Due to this fact, we decided to use a neutral white light colour for the Kulturpalast. Therefore, the building appears more functionally and doesn’t compete with the monuments nearby.
Additionally, LMT had to develop special spotlights for the tension cables at the facade, to underline the vertical components of the building as well. These spotlights are the only external luminaires, which didn’t exist before the refurbishment. For this reason, we had to closely coordinate with the monument protection authority. Yet, this was not a problem because the spotlights are mounted unobtrusively, and emphasise at night a beautiful existing element of the building. No doubt that this detail is worth to be visible.
You have deliberately opted for a discreet lighting design. What were the reasons?
HA: In my opinion, the light density in city centers is unnecessarily high. Instead of developing lighting fixtures that illuminate merely the intended surfaces, it is popular to use luminaires which emit their light wildly in all directions. For this reason, we opted for a different way in lighting design.
Yet, I must say that there are only a few manufacturers, who plan special luminaires together with us, produce them to a high standard and deliver them also on time. With LMT we have a lighting specialist at our side, that masters all disciplines of its business.