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Klimahaus 8° Ost, Bremerhaven, Germany

Issue 52 Dec/Jan 2009-10 : Architecture : Entertainment


Situated on the longitude of 8° East, Klimahaus’s concept is based on a mix of science and entertainment representing selected climate zones along this longitude across the globe. With a length of 125 metres, and with its totally glazed facade, the building is a key landmark in the city of Bremerhaven. The façade lighting scheme, by pfarré lighting design, employs 1900 individually addressable, cold-white LEDs.

The Klimahaus 8° Ost interactive exhibition is part of the “Havenwelten”, a large revitalisation project in the former port area of the city of Bremerhaven. Designed by Klumpp Architects Urban Planners, the project planning was then taken on by agn Niederberghaus & Partner GmbH.

Pfarré Lighting Design had already realised several lighting projects in the Old/New Harbour project within the Havenwelten, so in 2005, they were invited to present a proposal for the “night time identity” of the Klimahaus, together with three other lighting design teams.

Their winning concept was the only one that faded out the inner volumes of the building. As principal Gerd Pfarré explains: “The design was focused on the building skin; the idea of a mesh of meridian lines (the 8°East theme), and the use of LED points at the meridians crossings was a key part of our presentation. Furthermore, we didn’t want to create another unrelated media façade, we wanted to bring something from the inside, from the conceptual content, to the outside, to the public, visible at the façade.”

The brief was to create a night time outdoor image with light. Instead of bringing the inner structure out with light, the skin has been used as a canvas to underline the free form of the building.

Early on in the process it was decided that there would only be white light, no colour spectacle that people would tire of after a while. It was also decided that a minimum amount of light would follow the entire volume of the building with its total length and height thus underlining the shape of the project.

Pfarré and German LED manufacturer feno faced some challenges in developing the LED points as four different versions were needed, due to the fact that they had to handle four different installation principles on the façade (including smoke extraction hatches). In spite of this, the mesh needed to be uniform throughout the structure.



Pics: Markus Tollhopf, Hamburg

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