Diaphanous Space for the Public – The Domforum in Cologne in a New Light
The information, meeting and event center of the Catholic Church is in a prominent site. Located opposite the dome, it presents itself with a special quality of space and light after an extensive remodeling and refurbishment. The three-sided fully glazed building facade allows for multiple vistas inside, across and from within the room and connects a large interior space that is characterized by its natural luminosity with the exterior environment of the Cathedral Square in front. The idea of the lighting concept is based on the requirement of an extensive service profile: apart from temporary exhibitions the foyer houses panel discussions, music and theatre events as well as lectures. At the same time the room’s clear, formally reduced architectural language is to be emphasized.
The task on one hand was to introduce a lighting element that would fulfill both, the general illumination and accent lighting while responding to the existing structure of the space. Therefore, the floor’s diagonal joint pattern which is continued on the exterior Cathedral Square, is repeated in the light fixture layout. The specifically designed ceiling luminaire performs two tasks. A diffuse frosted acrylic cover forms an integral part of the ceiling. This cover is fitted with two cylindrical recesses which incorporate two adjustable downlights for the directional component. Thus, the directional spotlights remain concealed from most viewing angles. To realize various distinct lighting scenarios the two lighting components can be controlled and dimmed separately.
The Corian counter with its expressive formal language is the main space’s defining design element and is strongly emphasized by the directional spotlights above. Due to these adjustable projectors the display furniture and the freely arranged seating islands can be flexibly arranged. The diffuse light guarantees a homogenous illumination of the stage. As coordinated with the media designer, in this area remote controlled adjustable LED projectors are integrated within the ceiling thus allowing events to be accompanied by dynamic and colored light.
During the day a homogenously illuminated, friendly space invites the visitor to stay and linger. At dusk the exterior appearance is inverted, the foyer starts to emanate light from within and thus attracts attention. The control of the lighting system occurs through a touch panel which has been integrated with the main counter. Depending on the spatial requirements the preset scenes can be individually tuned retroactively.