Anolis LED lighting has been installed to illuminate Dark Matter, an exciting new exhibition space in Berlin showcasing the creative work and technical innovation of light artist Christopher Bauder from WHITEVoid.
Dark Matter is contained in seven pitch-black rooms within three purpose-built buildings on the site of a converted factory in the lively Lichtenberg (Light Mountain) area of the city. It is one of the coolest new experiences to open during the pandemic and has fast become a runaway success for light and interactive art lovers.
When it came to highlighting and illuminating the exterior of Dark Matter, Christopher, and his team – including technical lead Marc Liebold and site manager Natalie Heckl – turned to architectural lighting brand Anolis to provide the lumens, colours and aura of magical transformation that brings the buildings, gardens and surrounding industrial architecture to life after dusk.
The site’s features include some spectacular gas and heating pipes running from the neighbouring Vattenfall Power Station which traverse Dark Matter’s outdoor areas and also provide a heating feed, so visitors stay cosy in the winter!
The 16 x Anolis Divine 160 RGBW LED floods, 30 x Eminere 4s and 10 x Eminere 4 Ingrounds were chosen for their power, quality of light and excellent colour mixing, and all of them were supplied via Robe Germany.
“We needed numerous different lens options,” commented Marc, “and this variability was another reason for choosing Anolis together with the insane output and lens power!”
Eight of the Divine 160s are positioned for up-lighting the largest exterior boundary wall, all fitted with 15-degree lenses, and these create a high-impact wash up the rough texture of the expanse of dark brown and grey bricks.
The other Divine 160s are fitted with 90 or 100-degree lenses and positioned to up light the pipe supports together with the sides and belly of the pipes, producing super smooth coverage all along the metalwork.
The pipes are a very symbolic part of the Dark Matter site that resonates with the environment, as they transport heat to vast areas of the city, as well as an important element uniting the industrial heritage and function of Lichtenberg with the community, energy and life that buzzes around it.
Marc and the team did a full walk-though conducting several lighting tests with the different Anolis Divine and Eminere and various lens options beforehand to determine which fixtures would work best in the different areas. “The Robe Germany team was extremely helpful in assisting us to choose the right fixtures,” commented Marc.
The three new black walled Dark Matter halls were specially constructed to house the exhibition pieces, and these are lit with Eminere 4s and the Eminere 4 InGrounds positioned around the exterior concealed behind plants and walkways. The Eminere was the ideal fixture for producing the rich and solid colours and coverage required.
The Inground versions are used where there are no adjacent walkways around Halls 2 and 3.
A single Divine 160 is located below a grill on top of the old water well and fitted with a 100-degree lens, blasting light out of an unexpected space, adding illuminative surprise to the overall scheme. It was an inventive way of including this rather prosaic space into the visual picture.
All the exterior lighting is controlled from a grandMA OnPC running in the back office, part of an MA network also controlling lighting for the various exhibit lights. The Anolis installation cables were all neatly positioned and pulled by the Dark Matter team when the gardens were landscaped.
Lighting Dark Matter’s architecture was an important final touch for the experience.
“A lighting exhibition itself needs to be lit,” commented Christopher Bauder, “so we were delighted to partner with Anolis. The products are known for being robust, reliable and versatile, they bring an extra special finishing touch to Dark Matter, and we are very happy with the results.”
Robe lighting sales director Harry von den Stemmen stated, ““We’re delighted that Christopher and his team decided on Anolis for the architectural illumination of the Dark Matter project. It adds a whole new dimension to the exhibition site, integrating and uniting the whole area. In addition to that, it’s simply a fantastic and high-profile showcase for Anolis.”
Artur Frantz, Anolis Germany’s manager for architecture & installations adds, “It’s very exciting for us that Christopher chose Anolis luminaires for this impressive external lighting scheme. It adds great value and a lot of atmosphere to the environment after dark. An outstanding exhibition meets excellence in architectural LED lighting!”
Dark Matter – a parallel cosmos of expansive lighting installations that blurs the boundaries between real and digital worlds – opened in mid-2021, and despite Covid restrictions on the numbers and flow of people circulating at any one time, it’s been among the city’s most successful new art exhibitions and attractions.
Photos: by Christopher Bauder