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Zumtobel Lights Up Urban Spaces

Zumtobel is behind some of the most fascinating urban facade lighting projects around the world. Here we spotlight some of them!

Zumtobel Lights Up Urban Spaces


December 12th, 2011

Illuminated facades are a prominent feature in every city, lending its buildings a distinct architectural expression when night falls.

Zumtobel’s new application area focuses on special luminaires and lighting control systems for facade lighting: from unobtrusively illuminated monuments to resplendent media facades.

“The number of buildings that have illuminated facades is increasing sharply. Because of changes in architecture, society and technologies, lighting design faces a new challenge in this area,” says Stefan von Terzi, Zumtobel’s Marketing Director.

“Our aim is to use our new product portfolio of contemporary facade spotlights to shape urban living spaces in a way that reconciles architecturally inspiring lighting concepts with the highest possible energy efficiency.”

Some of Zumtobel’s noted projects include…


The Galleria Centercity shopping mall in Cheonan, Korea

This project was done in collaboration with lighting design firm a.g.Licht and architecture firm UNStudio, and shows how light can be integrated into a building almost imperceptibly and at the same time be used as a means of communication.

The vast media facade covers 12,600m2; dynamic lighting shows produced by more than 22,000 LED lighting points wrap the structure in a shimmering skin.


Here, Zumtobel’s IP65-rated RGB LED spotlights and white LED spotlights combine light, colour and movement in a fascinating way. The installed DMX control system ensures individual programming of each LED spot and paints animations on the surface of the building that are accurate in every detail.

“Harpa” Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland

Much further off, the new 28,000m2 “Harpa” Concert Hall and Conference Centre, built in 2011 on Reykjavik’s waterfront, gleams like a sparkling crystal jewel, an impression heightened by the facade’s honeycomb structure – and especially by the individual facade section made of dichroitic glass panes.


These reflect daylight and cause the facade sparkle in hues of green, yellow, orange or their complementary colours. Thanks to these reflections and permanent changes in colour tone and colour intensity, the building appears to capture light in a magical way.

This effect is enhanced in the evening when the south facade begins to glow mysteriously, a result of LED strip lights that are installed on the inside of the structure.

The new luminaire used here is the result of a collaboration between architect Olafur Elíasson and Zumtobel.


The product integrates nearly invisibly into the prismatic structure, creating the impression that the facade, rather than simply being illuminated, is suffused with an internal glow.

LED lines are individually controlled and dimmable down to 1% of the maximum light output, enabling lighting scenarios ranging from spherical colour sequences to the presentation of animated pictures.


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