With its green copper capped spire reaching 75 meters toward the sky, Saint Hippolytus Church stands high above the houses, shops and modern, small industrial buildings that surround it. Those who step inside the impressive neo-Gothic structure encounter an interior that rivals its exterior in splendor. From the beauty of its colorful “Praise the Space” choir windows, to its towering yoked ceiling and cantoned pillars, the space inside the historic 650-seat church is at turns imposing and reassuring.

Markus Lipphaus of Lambda Light and Media Design had clear goals in mind for the upgrade project at the church, which was built in 1898. “This is an official landmark, so for us, it was important to highlight the great architecture,” he said. “I had the idea of indirectly lighting the ceiling, which was already pure white, and therefore perfect for this type of illumination angle.”

The lighting rig installed at the church features 40 COLORado fixtures and 12 Ovation units in addition to the single NET-X II. These include eight COLORado 1-Quad fixtures positioned in the main hall, as well as 24 COLORado 2-Solo and eight COLORado 1-Solo units, which are used in the main hall and for uplighting.

Accentuating the transformative effect of the church’s timeless architectural features is a new LED lighting system featuring CHAUVET Professional fixtures.

Lipphaus had the idea of indirectly lighting the ceiling, which was already pure white, and therefore perfect for this type of illumination angle. Next, he wanted to highlight very particular spots, like the side of the church with the huge windows. “Also, the middle pillars are great for uplighting. With the NET-X II, we were able to program different scenes for the different services very easily. For concerts or other events, we are able to control and change everything easily via sACN. This enables very different types of lighting effects.”

“From a lighting perspective, an old church is different in many ways,” Markus Lipphaus says. “The old structure requires a lot of thinking ahead, as well as a secure installation. The electric situation had to be analysed by an electrician first and some details had to be renovated in order to support LED lighting. With the church’s impressive structure, the fixtures had to be very subtle; you don’t want the lighting system to pop in the eyes on first sight. The fixtures needed to be very quiet, but still had to be IP65 rated, because of them being placed in a moist and old structure.”

Despite the challenges, the Lambda team was able to dramatically enhance the interior vista with a design that supports the timeless architecture. By elevating what is already so beautiful in the venue, instead of overpowering it, this project lifts the worship experience into a new level.