Zumtobel Illuminates Montforthaus with Unique LED Lighting Solution

In close cooperation with the lighting design firm Belzner Holmes / Light Design Engineering, Zumtobel has developed a bespoke LED solution for Montforthaus that meets stringent television requirements by combining seamless dimming between 100 and 0 percent with a colour temperature range from 2700K to 5000K. A feat that had previously proved impossible in the field of architectural lighting.

Exterior of Montforthaus. (All photos courtesy of Zumtobel)

A flexible LED lighting concept for different functions

Montforthaus brings art and culture together under one roof by hosting events including concerts, fairs, congresses and symposiums. The new multifunctional venue in the Austrian town of Feldkirch is the result of a competition organised by the local authorities and replaces the original Montforthaus building. The culture and congress center was officially opened in January 2015 after five years of planning and construction. Transparent facades and a glass dome in the foyer of the organically shaped building help fuse the interior and exterior elements of the project. This enables daylight to penetrate the Great Hall, the heart of the building, which stands boldly like a wooden musical instrument in the middle of the foyer area.

This architectural principle of permeability was also central to the lighting concept, devised by the dedicated architectural and stage lighting design office of Belzner Holmes / Light Design Engineering (LDE) and realized in close cooperation with Zumtobel. LDE were tasked with designing a flexible lighting concept that could be adapted for different functions. 

Following an extensive testing and exploratory phase, the decision was taken to use a bespoke lighting solution from Zumtobel. The core objective of the lighting solution was to achieve flicker-free LED lighting that could be dimmed right down to 0 percent. This would enable TV broadcasts in High Definition (HD) quality to be made from Montforthaus. Based on an existing Zumtobel technology that facilitates the flexible mixing of cold white or warm white light sources, the LDE offices in Stuttgart and Liechtenstein worked closely with Zumtobel to devise a custom-made solution for this project. 

Interior hall lighting of Montforthaus. 

Starting point: Modular LED downlight PANOS infinity 

The starting point for the new development was PANOS infinity. The design and construction of this celebrated modular LED downlight range means that it could be installed throughout the different areas of the building. The PANOS infinity family blends the sophisticated design of Sottsass Associati and the advanced technological functionality synonymous with Zumtobel engineering. In addition, excellent energy efficiency and extra-long maintenance intervals deliver tangible cost savings and help protect the environment.

Stepless dimming from 100 to 0 percent makes the unique MFH-PANOS solution a world first in the field of architectural lighting. In stark contrast to previous products, the MFH-PANOS solution harnesses specially developed Zumtobel technology to achieve a smooth and flicker-free transition for the first time ever in the range from 10 to 0 percent. Extensive testing in the studios of Austrian television broadcaster ORF confirmed the high quality of this innovation. A series of experimental HD recordings were made without any flickering or visual disturbance. The color temperature of MFH-PANOS can be fully adjusted from warm white to cold white to suit any occasion. Depending on the necessary response rate, the integrated 28W, 30W or 40W downlights are equipped with intelligent DALI or DMX technology that enables the separate control of each luminaire. 

A total of 18 different Zumtobel products are present in Montforthaus, including LIGHTFIELDS evolution in the stairwell, ONDARIA in the café and CRAFT as general lighting for the stage area. Altogether more than 2,500 Zumtobel luminaires were required, including around 750 pieces of the different MFH-PANOS variants.

Montforthaus stage lighting.
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