Licht Kunst Licht AG
Cultural Buildings & Event Locations

Columbarium Liebfrauenkirche

Dortmund, Germany
Staab Architekten GmbH, Berlin
Gemeindeverband Katholischer Kirchengemeinden Östliches Ruhrgebiet
Grabeskirche Liebfrauen Dortmund
Project size
1,900 sqm
Lukas Roth
Overall building budget
3.3 million euros
Lighting budget
0.1 million euros

New Columbarium Liebfrauenkirche in Dortmund with Atmospherical LED Illumination

A restored church building from the 19th century represents itself as impressive location for urn burial ceremonies in urban areas. The sensitive lighting – solely implementing LED technology – effectively underlines the interior design concept planned by Staab Architekten. In order to accommodate the urns the architects confined to the construction of a ground-level urn burial site. They distribute along the center line of the nave and spread into the aisles.

The development of a lighting design for the Columbarium Liebfrauenkirche in Dortmund is based on the idea of a lighting concept, which is appropriate in the context of a sacral building in its spatial and atmospherical qualities. The illumination satisfies the demands to serve as an adequate setting for funeral and ecumenical services as well as to provide the mourners with a place of calm and contemplation.

Combining a separately switched and dimmable ambient and accent lighting can accommodate the requirements for various lighting scenarios. In order not to distract from the architecture of the church building, the luminaire as visual object blends into the background. Solely in the entrance area, a distinctly perceptible direct/indirect circular chandelier accentuates the bronze basin with statue.

The ambient lighting of the nave is achieved by direct / indirect custom-designed LED-luminaires mounted above the capitals at a height of 12.70m. The luminaires are designed as compact and block-shaped housing accommodating six adjustable projectors. The lighting elements disappear in this housing to a great extent.

Four of the adjustable projector heads subtly illuminate the horizontal level with a warm-toned light and create a calm lighting atmosphere, which emphasizes the depth of the material and color of the bronzed urn grave surfaces. Thus making the engraving readable. The two remaining projectors with wide beam angles fade in the vaulted ceiling with diffused light and create a good balance of light levels within the space. At the same time the height of the space becomes palpable. Anti-glare shields prevent the arches from receiving stray light. Glare is being avoided by the use of honeycomb louvers in all direct projectors.

The lighting principle of the nave is continued in the aisles as well as in the choir on a slightly lower capital height and accordingly lower light intensities.

Due to the continuously dimmable LED technology, the illuminance levels or brightness can be easily adapted to various user scenarios. Due to a light sensor the artificial illumination reacts to changing daylight situations. In case of higher natural illuminance levels, the artificial lighting components in the nave and in the aisles are switched off.

In the entire church building, solely DALI addressed LED-luminaires are employed, which fulfill the requirements of optimized efficiency and extremely long maintenance intervals. Combined into architecture-related switching channels, five programmed lighting scenarios can be retrieved via an intuitively designed control panel.