Award of Merit 2005
IIDA International Illumination Design Awards
Illuminating Engineering Society of North America

Award of Excellence 2004
GE Edison Awards

Architects:   Stephan Braunfels Architekten, Berlin/Munich
Client:   Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Bundesbaugesellschaft Berlin Ltd.
Occupant:   Federal Parliament of Germany
Completion:   2004
Project size:   33,300 m²
Overall building budget:   220 million euros
Lighting budget:   1.4 million euros
Photos:   Ulrich Schwarz  2-3, 4r
Luc Bernard  4l, 5
Werner Huthmacher  1, 6

Werkbericht - Licht Kunst Licht 2 >>


New Space for the Members of the German Parliament - Marie-Elisabeth Lüders Building in Berlin

With the Marie-Elisabeth Lüders Building a new parliamentary building was created which now houses chiefly the new parliamentary library with press and parliamentary archives, a room for public hearings, offices and conference rooms, as well as various academic service departments. Analogous to the neighbouring building, the office wings of the Marie-Elisabeth Lüders Building are located alongside a hall-like central nave with skylights. Angular, glazed volumes lend structure to the courtyards between the wings. The library of the federal parliament and the hearing room are prominently positioned within the ensemble and open up to an outstanding view of the Spree through their glazed curtain walls. Two bridges cross the Spree at this point – one for the public and one for MPs.

The lighting concept does not try to compete with the generous and meticulously detailed architecture but gives centre stage to the composition of pillars, floating canopy roofs, walls and openings. The light sources are mostly concealed and integrated into the architecture. With few exceptions, all lighting elements are recessed flush with the surface and are only perceived on close inspection.

The great hall serves as the central axis and visual spine of the Marie-Elisabeth Lüders Building. A concrete grid spans the imposing space and allows sunlight into the hall during the day through square skylights. Mounted below the skylights, diffuse fluorescent profiles gently illuminate the concrete grid structure. Luminaires with strongly directional light provide a direct utility light component and thus generate the required luminance levels on the hall floor.

The lighting concept for the library underscores the transparency of the partly glazed circular volume. Recessed downlights and wall washers illuminate the shelves and make them visible to the exterior. The highlight of the library is the broad expanse of the luminous ceiling. It is organized in fields that are set back from the lower edge of the concrete grid. The aim of the design was not to generate a homogeneous luminous surface but to create a sense of depth and to convey an impression of the volume behind the membrane by means of light and transparency.


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