Konzerthaus Freiburg

ProjectKonzerthaus FreiburgLocationFreiburg, GermanyManufacturersGDS Pioneering Light LimitedDistributorVisionTwo GmbHSubmitted byVisionTwo GmbH

After the bulk of the orchestra and foyer lighting in the Freiburg concert hall had already been retrofitted with GDS Custom Downlights & ETC ArcSystem in 2020 and 2021 by VisionTwo and partners, the awkwardly located 70W HQI downlights in the foyer still required modernisation.
With the ceiling not walkable and the lights fitted into holes embedded in concrete, a cherry picker had to be used whenever they needed replacement. Further challenges were to follow, as concert hall specifications required the new LED to provide high-power lighting (CW-WW-RGB>150W) on a scale never previously achieved.
The whole foyer was to be immersed in both high-quality white light and saturated colours.

To run new signal cabling in the concrete ceiling was simply not possible.
Consequently, to control through existing mains cabling, a central LED ballast had to be used that would transmit the control signal over a distance of more than 60m, with some voltage loss anticipated. For several control signals (CW-WW-RGB) to be broadcast via the existing three-wire cables, the IPM (Integrated Power Management) the concert hall had previously utilised needed to be enhanced. It has been replaced by IPM2 which can transmit up to 100 signals via a single line.

The project presented a number of structural challenges, and demanded a high quality of light, and of product. The solution had to be entirely custom. Although the concert hall contacted various manufacturers and distributors, only VisionTwo were able to address the complex challenges the project presented.
Very much impressed by their experience with VisionTwo during earlier projects, the concert hall again turned to GDS’ exclusive distributor in Germany to develop and approve a custom prototype. The global shortages experienced as a direct result of the pandemic made the development and manufacture of the prototype difficult, but VisionTwo and GDS’ direct collaboration ultimately prevailed.

The Technical Director of the venue may now rightly call himself a ‘product owner’. The custom lighting developed for the foyer space has been named the ‘Thomas Schnitzer Pastel Passion Edition’ and is capable of illuminating the glass foyer directly opposite the Freiburg Station in any shade of colour.

The light values implemented have surpassed requirements. Despite the limitation to four cables, 16 lights can be individually controlled to radiate any colour.

In a year plagued with delivery problems and part shortage, we were able to develop and build a prototype which had until then been considered an impossibility.

„These areas were previously characterised by a very dull, flat atmosphere. The colours were being rendered poorly by the existing system and the fixed colour temperature just wasn’t working for us. The CRI being achieved, coupled with the flexible mixture of 3000K and 5000K emitters leaves nothing to be desired’’ Thomas Schnitzer says.

“At VisionTwo and GDS, I find staff whose commitment is not only declared on their websites but is revealed as a great passion for and a remarkable dedication to their product in every single act. On that basis a type of cooperation has evolved which set the scene for our projects to succeed. And although the range of electromagnetic radiation visible to humans is something essentially technical, this involvement turns it into an element affecting us even if we are not aware of it.“

Development of this light was dependent on imagination and persistency. On the practical side, concrete holes were added and heat sinks and radiation behaviour tested for weeks to ensure the longevity of this extravagant product. A custom-built yoke enabled the light to be conveniently fitted to the existing hole in the ceiling with a bayonet lock.

The new light matches the interior of the foyer even better than the former one, as its design was adapted to the architectural features of the ceiling windows, at the same time facilitating installation. With the new light fixture the upper and the ground floor of the foyer can be illuminated either with high-quality white light or richly saturated colours, and that without any intervention into the infrastructure of the building.

In short, „it can’t be done“ never was an option – by combining “Pastel Passion“, Drive Hub Card Frame and IPM2 system we effectively went beyond boundaries.

“Cooperation between the Freiburg concert hall, GDS Pioneering Light as the manufacturer and VisionTwo as the distributor has been, and still is unique, and we are looking forward to tackle the next project. It is in difficult times that business relations can grow into an association of partners and friends – for when else should we need reliability more?“, Anke Schierenbeck, project manager with VisionTwo, concludes.