OLED INSTALLATION, Frankfurt am Main

Client:   Osram opto Semiconductors GmbH
Occupant:   Osram opto Semiconductors GmbH
Completion:   2010
Project budget:   9.5 million euros
Photos:   Thomas Möritz  1l, 2-3, 5-6, video
Lukas Roth  1r, 4

OLED Installation on the Light + Building 2010

In the summer of 2009, our office's contact with the development department of OSRAM Opto Semiconductors lead to a discussion on the presentation of a novel light source. In the context of a trade show exhibition, organic light diodes (OLED) were to be presented as the center piece of the OSRAM stand at the Light + Building in Frankfurt between April 11th and 16th.

Given the fact that the office has a long standing tradition of developing custom luminaires, it seemed an obvious approach to provide a light fitting design. However, this strategy proved to fall short of the actual potential. The predetermined material has specific properties that we wanted to present in a bespoke installation.

We were provided with 1mm thin ORBEOS OLED tiles, 80mm in diameter. Their predominant feature was the homogenous, dimmable laminar light when switched on and their immaculate mirror surface when switched off. The gentle luminances in connection with the extremely thin tiles lead us to design a room-format accessible arrangement of mirror panels. Each panel is a sandwich of two mirror glasses with a size of 1.2 by 1.2m. The front and rear sides appear identical. 5 x 5 clear round fields have been masked before the mirror-coating process. Behind, 50 matching ORBEOS tiles have been mounted back to back. The wiring is changing depending on the side; one horizontal, one vertical. This polarization allows for complex lighting scenes when animated. The combination of altogether 12 such panels, most of them vertically suspended from filigree steel ropes, some horizontally imbedded in the floor or mounted overhead creates the fascinating geometry of a chamber of mirrors.

The finally implemented spatial installation also involved the design of the envelope with its access nodes and wall perforations. The resulting box with its succinct OSRAM orange wall colour offering controlled peeks into the mirror field turned out to be one of the main attractions of the trade show appearance at the Festival Hall - a fact that was quickly revealed in the ensuing visitor stampede. The main allure was certainly to find intricate paths through the meandering panels, to feel the great number of luminous OLED elements and to witness the manifold reflections that accumulate to endless tunnels of mirror images, creating a visual maze that remains elusive to one's intellectual grasp.

 The composition's aim was to fulfill the trade show visitor's desire for an inspiring presentation and to meet the enterprise's expectation to introduce a product that is not fully developed but shows great promise for future applications.

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