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Façade illumination of Berlin Social Science Centre
Berlin, Germany

  • progetto Berlin Social Science Centre
  • lighting designer Bettina Wipfler, Edgar Schlaefle
  • fotografo Bettina Wipfler

This Selux pro­ject on the Rei­ch­pie­tschu­fer canal bank road in Berlin was car­ried out in no time at all – with around 6 months bet­ween lighting tech­no­logy plan­ning, tender and imple­men­ta­tion. Since Decem­ber 2019, modu­lar Lif light columns have ador­ned the façade of the Social Science Centre in Berlin.

Foun­ded in 1969, the Berlin Social Science Centre is an extra-mural research insti­tute in the field of the social scien­ces, which coo­pe­ra­tes clo­sely with the uni­ver­si­ties in Berlin. As well as the post-modern part, dating from 1979 – 1988, the buil­ding com­plex of the Berlin Social Science Centre also inclu­des the only buil­ding to have sur­vi­ved the Second World War in this area of the city – the neo-renais­sance Impe­rial Insu­rance Office, which was con­struc­ted in 1894.

Four Lif light columns based on the plans of lighting plan­ners Bet­tina Wip­fler and Edgar Schlae­fle now illu­mi­nate the façade of this listed buil­ding. Each of the slim, cylin­dri­cal lumi­nai­res has three dif­fe­rent façade modu­les that have been indi­vi­dually adap­ted based on lighting-engi­nee­ring cal­cu­la­tions to their short distance to the buil­ding – the light columns are posi­tio­ned just five to seven metres away. The façade modu­les attain highly uni­form lighting, which avoids any light glare inside the buil­ding while two twin­spots in each of the Lif light columns ensure light is beamed onto its top sec­tion. For this, both twin­spot and façade module are seated in indi­vi­dual moun­ting ele­ments so they can be ali­gned later on at the loca­tion.

Besi­des the state-of-the-art lighting tech­no­logy, which ensu­res the histo­ric buil­ding façade of the Berlin Social Science Centre is an attrac­tive sight by night, the ele­gant-purist design of the Lif light columns has crea­ted a new set­ting that has also upgra­ded the road along­side the canal bank.

  • Cities are lively, vibrant places that are always in motion. Changes in use within communal spaces or multi-functional concepts are transforming urban spaces and with it, the requirements for lighting. As a modular system luminaire in the shape of a slim, cylindrical light column, Lif provides full freedom for the creation of light settings in urban spaces and the smart implementation of these using networked functions. More flexible than any other luminaire, it adapts itself to the widest variety of urban lighting tasks. By day, Lif occupies a reserved role in the cityscape but it is during darkness that it demonstrates its true versatility – depending on the configuration, it can be transformed into a luminaire for squares or pathways, an accent light, or even all of these at once, while at all times remaining a minimalist light column. Lighting tools like the pathway module or the Gobo projector for eyecatching projection effects expand and enhance the scope of planning. New spacer elements in four heights perfectly complement the versatile configuration options of Lif, while smart components like a loudspeaker module, camera, or WiFi element make this light column a key element in smart cities.

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