Licht Kunst Licht AG
Government Projects

Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders Building

Berlin, Germany
Stephan Braunfels Architekten, Berlin/Munich
Federal Republic of Germany represented by the Bundesbaugesellschaft Berlin Ltd.
Federal Parliament of Germany
Project size
33,300 sqm
Ulrich Schwarz, Luc Bernard, Werner Huthmacher
Overall building budget
220 million euros
Lighting budget
1.4 million euros

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 neighboring 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 center 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 wallwashers 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.