Luminale 2016 – united in diversity

March 2016

For the lighting installation at the European Central Bank‘s Eurotower in Frankfurt am Main, Thomas and Michael Giegerich from bright! created a partially generative facade projection based on the European anthem “Ode to Joy” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

bright! opted for 30 EHRGEIZ Chroma floodlights for illuminating the 148 meter high building. For the eighth time, Luminale, the light culture biennial, took place in Frankfurt am Main in conjunction with Light + Building. During the six-day event, visitors could witness small and large lighting installations in many public places, which allowed them to experience the city from a completely new perspective.

One of the highlights of Luminale was certainly the illumination of the 148 meter high Eurotower of the European Central Bank (ECB). Based on the official motto of the European Union “united in diversity”, the team at bright! GmbH headed by the two brothers and founders Thomas and Michael Giegerich turned the prestigious building into the heart of a generic lighting and projection installation.
The basis was the European anthem – an extract from the prelude of “Ode to Joy” from Ludwig van Beethoven‘s world famous 9th symphony. A computer algorithm put together the individual, constantly changing video elements of the approximately three-minute video installation, using various empirical indices (e.g. the number of spoken languages in the European Union) to project new and constantly changing images onto the Eurotower‘s facade. This is how the lighting installation from bright! placed the diversity of the European society in an interacting interplay with European unity, represented by Ludwig van Beethoven‘s European anthem. An instance of this installation was also projected onto the new headquarters of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt‘s Ostend district.
A total of 28 projectors were used to carry out this impressive lighting and projection show. The video content was played via d3 media servers, and the projectors were arranged on top of each other in stacks of four. Each generative, constantly changing design needs a fixed point, a visual basis, which accompanies the diversity, embedding it into a harmonious overall picture. For this task, bright! used a total of 30 EHRGEIZ Chroma LED outdoor floodlights which were placed on the canopy of the Eurotower, bathing the facade on the left and the right in a cozy blue light. “The Chromas and the lighting are turning the facade projection into a complete illumination of the building. And in between the installations the building effectively can “take a break” in the light from the Chromas,” said Michael Giegerich. “Thomas (Giegerich) used the Chromas before, for me it‘s the first time here at Luminale. We had a number of test set-ups in advance and were really impressed by them.” Apart from the light output (“A lot of output for very little lamp”) and color quality, the beam angle in particular played an important role for bright!. “Thanks to the Chroma‘s 15° lenses we were able to illuminate the building upwards very effectively.”