Sophisticated façade illumination

Lighting design for BRAIN BOX BERLIN

An impressive new building in Berlin near BER airport: curved building complex as an office and commercial building, with curves, inner courtyards and a tower. The building is 300 metres long in total and winds along the BAB 113.

The project:
In order for the impressive architecture to have an effect not only during the day, the dimensions and shapes of the BRAIN BOX were to be emphasised by light in the dark.

The lighting designers relied on NEON ZENTGRAF LICHTWERBUNG from Frankfurt to design the façade illumination. Klaus Zentgraf was already well remembered by the façade construction manager of the general contractor ZÜBLIN AG for the successful WINX-HOCHHAUS project in Frankfurt, and so contact was established. The construction site in Berlin was visited together during the construction phase and the conditions were explained and visualised on a sample façade.

The task:
A futuristic façade with partial segments of continuous rooflights was to be created. These light strips are set slightly back in the façade recess. The dimensions for the desired light profile were therefore precisely specified and a product was sought that met the exact requirements. The light profile should already have proven itself in outdoor use (IP 67) and be flexible for curves inwards and outwards.

This is where Hansen's swing~light came into play, because the dimensions happened to fit exactly into the grooves and it is also flexible as desired, according to Klaus Zentgraf. In addition, Zentgraf relies on Hansen's long-standing cooperation: "At Hansen I simply know that development is based on mature products that have no teething troubles. In addition, we have first-class technical support there and the willingness to work together on the best solution."

Thus, swing~light samples with different colour temperatures and with and without a top cover were built at Hansen. Klaus Zentgraf was supported by the technical production manager at Hansen, Olaf Sievertsen.

In the next step, these samples were applied to the partially finished façade in Berlin and examined from an appropriate distance. The overall façade context was found to be good and was also confirmed by the building inspectorate.

Passages to the green inner courtyards
Another task was on the agenda: for the passages to the inner courtyards of the BRAIN BOX, illuminated lines on the ceilings were planned as arches that follow a certain radius. The identical flexible light profile was to be used for this, but with a few different parameters, such as the net luminous flux.

These light strips were to be mounted in milled grooves in the ceiling. For this purpose, special profile strips were developed, which in turn accommodate the flexible mounting profile for the swing~light. The connecting cables were to be routed to the rear so that they were not visible from the outside. Again, samples with the exact mounting situation were provided and discussed.

The decision in favour of the swing~light product was made and Klaus Zentgraf was able to start with the technical planning, the planning of the electrical cables, the circulation plans and so on.

So far so good: the awarding of the contract was imminent... the contract for the execution was not awarded to the company NEON ZENTGRAF, which was available for consultation and sampling, but to a company based in Berlin. The product, however, remained at Hansen!

BOEHLKE Elektroinstallationen from Berlin had already been involved in the BRAIN BOX project two years earlier, but was not awarded the contract at first. When it came time to award the contract for the façade lighting, the company was able to score points and was awarded the contract.

As there were minor deviations from the original façade planning, BOEHLKE's project management had to develop its own concept for the installation. Contrary to the original planning, the original retaining profiles did not fit into the grooves; aluminium C-rails were now chosen as new retainers. These were designed according to the conditions and now fit perfectly into the grooves. The swing~light is thus floating and lies loosely in the façade. Considering the material expansion, this is a not insignificant aspect.

The clients wanted the individual LEDs, i.e. the light points on the façade, to be clearly visible far apart - just like in the neighbouring building of the PORSCHE company. Here, too, the LED spacing had to be adjusted, but on the whole the preliminary planning by Neon Zentgraf was mature and good and the installation of the swing~light open (light profile without upper cover) could be started on the construction site.

BOEHLKE's project manager Kristof Schneidewind has known Hansen for years from Neon times and he also swears by the good quality of the products: "Hansen products are reliable and durable and no failures are to be expected. As each light profile was supplied preassembled by Hansen, the subsequent installation on the BRAIN BOX façade was very convenient for our fitters."

BOEHLKE not only carried out the façade lighting, but also the continuous rows of lights for the passageways. In order to achieve a homogeneous continuous illuminated line, the swing~light with cover was used here.

The continuous row was mounted in a special milled groove in a substructure in the ceiling. The retaining profiles fitted exactly, the milled groove then only had to be plastered and painted. The aim was to achieve the effect of a long neon strip.

An impressive façade illumination, drive by and be amazed!


Hansen GmbH

Norderstraße 1
D 25855 Haselund
T +49 4843-2009-0

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