Vienna State Opera

Unique light installation worldwide

Façade of the Vienna State Opera

The Vienna State Opera, the "First House on the Ring", is one of the most famous opera houses in the world. It was opened on 25 May 1869.

The project:
During the lockdown in 2020, the Vienna State Opera was closed, but it still wanted to attract attention to the outside world to show that the house was not asleep. When the house reopened in autumn, visual signs were to be set on the façade to mark this joyous occasion.

This is where a temporary light installation came into play as a communication tool. The Austrian architect and designer Alexander Kada, Kadadesign, was commissioned with the planning of this installation, as was our long-standing client Wolfgang Raunjak, raunjakintermedias gmbh, for the technical implementation.

The task:
The lighting installation was to do justice to the architecture and be discreet in appearance, that was the top priority. Another wish of the architect was to realise the display in RGB, but definitely not as a video wall!

In concrete terms, five computer-controlled matrix elements - similar in structure to an LCD panel of a digital timer - were to be attached to the façade, on which various characters (letters or numbers) can be displayed. This requires 15 segments in each matrix instead of the usual 7 in order to display the entire alphabet. Each element should be controlled separately. In addition, it should be mounted on a steel frame. It will have the dimensions 3,000 mm in width and 3,600 mm in height.

So Wolfgang Raunjak, raunjakintermedias, who was in charge of the technical realisation and production of this project, approached the sales engineer for Austria of the Hansen company, Holmer Schirmacher. He was well acquainted with Hansen's products and wanted to build on the good cooperation. He also knew that individual wishes are catered for here and that the products are delivered pre-assembled after completion.

Holmer Schirmacher supported and organised this project with great commitment from the very beginning and together with all those involved, a Hansen product was found that met all requirements: the swing~light RGB.

For the special controllers, the experts from Toni Maroni GmbH in Nordfriesland were called in, quasi neighbours of Hansen and a cooperation partner that has proven itself over many years.

The implementation:
Samples were built at Hansen in North Friesland and made available to the clients in Austria.

The ticker that emerged from this constellation was presented to the client. The decision-makers at the State Opera were extremely enthusiastic and this enthusiasm continues to this day!

For it has not only become a temporary light installation with swing~light RGB, but thanks to the sophisticated control technology of Olaf Hasselbusch, Toni Maroni, the daily programme, for example, can now be displayed in ticker tape. This is made possible by an editor specially programmed for the opera, an easy-to-use user interface with which texts can be pre-programmed up to a week in advance, for example "17 - 20 UHR ZAUBERFLÖTE".

This visualisation has become a permanent feature of the Vienna State Opera and is unique in the world, says Wolfgang Raunjak. Except in summer, when the lettering disappears because the loggias of the façade are open. However, the LED illuminated lettering is dispensable at this time of year, because the days are very long and very bright.

From autumn onwards, the Vienna State Opera will be in full swing again: not only with ballet and opera, but also with swing~light RGB.

A unique project! Bravo!


Hansen GmbH

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

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