A milestone for Kardorff Ingenieure Lighting Design: first place in the 2000 competition for the illumination of the Brandenburg Gate, the national symbol of Germany’s history. After completion in 2002, one of the most-photographed monuments could finally be captured in uniform light color. The lighting emphasizes the gate as the most important structure on Pariser Platz and strengthens its silhouette in the long axis stretching from the Tiergarten all the way to the historic center of Berlin. (See also: Pariser Platz and Unter den Linden)
Video Brandenburg Gate
(Video by Linus Lintner Fotografie)
The Brandenburg Gate – the symbol of Berlin’s history – was reopened in 2002 after being restored. A central component of the monument’s present impact is its illumination. Its distinguished appearance by day is complemented at night by a corresponding presentation of the “Gate of Peace”. In order to emphasize its great significance, it is the only building on Pariser Platz to be illuminated. Preservation of the monument requires sensitive installations at few locations in the sandstone and the copper roofing. For the elegant details, special lighting fixtures were designed and the historic pendant lights in the guard houses were fitted with state-of-the-art technology.
In a subdued, elegant manner, the light enhances the spatial impact of the Brandenburg Gate as seen from all angles. The columns of the passageways are illuminated more intensely than the columns of the recessed guard houses so that the passageways are emphasized. The effect from a distance as viewed from the Tiergarten is accentuated as a result. The uniform light color connects the gate’s passageway with its guard houses.
Planning was entirely computerized with a 3-D model. All contrast values were defined and the necessary light distributions selected.
Artificial Light +
There are 250 built-in luminaires. The total power required was decreased by 60%. A diffused general brightness provides for soft shadows and the close beams of the floodlights for a brilliance of the stone and a shining Quadriga. Luminance and color are matched to the sandstone. The uniformity of the light sources and the stable light color also give a very high quality to the many pictures of the monument taken at night and which circulate around the world each day.