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The Berlin Futurium has established itself as the “House of the Future”, representing a ground-breaking combination of visionary future platform, future museum, future laboratory and future forum. This interactive location for knowledge transfers and creative space for forward-thinking fantasy tackles the major topics of tomorrow, including nutrition, health, energy, cities and housing, as well as the critical issues of economics and work. Covering three floors, the venue offers ample space to discover, discuss, explore and experiment. Visitors are encouraged to take on an active role, exchanging personal views about the future of politics, business, culture and science and thereby shaping the future in this unique building. The exhibition on the first floor uses three defined thought-spaces to show how specific futures might look, while the basement contains the so-called “Futurium Lab”, in which people have the opportunity to try out new future-oriented techniques. The ground floor offers space for different kinds of events, including lectures, workshops and other forms of future exploration. A new building opened its doors for the first time on 16. September 2017 under the motto “A day in the future. Futurium open house”. The centre will host workshop weeks from 30. May to 9. June 2018, before the opening in spring 2019.

The Futurium is also a special architectural addition to the Berlin government quarter. Sculptural forms meet openness and accessibility in the design drafted by Berlin architects Richter und Musikowski. The architecture seems to embody the topic of the future, with high windows offering panoramic views of the surrounding area and abundant natural light streaming through the glass façade into the barrier-free exhibition rooms. The cast-glass façade symbolises an open and future-oriented perspective and stages a rich and diverse interplay of light during both the day and night.

Throughout the four-year planning and construction phase, Zumtobel worked as a valued adviser to realities:united, a Berlin art and architecture studio that was entrusted with drawing up the lighting design for the entire building. Three special solutions for the “House of the Future” were developed as part of this cooperation.

The individual rooms of the new building contain various versions of the PANOS recessed LED downlight range from Zumtobel: PANOS evolution and PANOS infinity. The surface-mounted and recessed luminaires were specified in a special black finish and feature flush-mounted installation and the integration of emergency lighting. The high luminaire efficiency and powerful lumen packages of this versatile and efficient downlight family provide the best light quality and offer tailored lighting solutions with excellent functionality and a sophisticated, consistent design.

The ECOOS continuous-row system from Zumtobel ensures efficient direct-indirect lighting in the offices. The unique fusion of direct, indirect and lateral light components enhances the overall visual comfort and means that ECOOS fittings illuminate the spaces with outstanding uniformity – and maximum contrast rendition. SLOTLIGHT infinity LED light lines from Zumtobel meet the highest architectural standards and lighting requirements in the hallways. Integrated almost invisibly into the architecture, the SLOTLIGHT luminaires act as a wallwasher with varied functions – from atmospheric staging and general lighting to orientation and defined spatial zoning. The modular INTRO M LED accent lighting solution from Zumtobel puts the spotlight on the exhibits in the lower exhibition area, blending innovative lighting technology with optimum efficiency.

Simple and slim Zumtobel LINARIA light lines in a customised black colour were chosen for the stairwell lighting, with an integrated emergency lighting connection, alongside OPTOS downlights that add an attractive architectural touch.

The artistic-looking lighting solution features a special highlight in the foyer. Computer-controlled luminaires concealed behind a metal grid ceiling create dynamic light patterns that – based on continuous analysis of the flow of people on the ground floor – “accompany” visitors with an individual light aura. In combination with motion detectors and DMX luminaires, this interactive installation is achieved using a specially developed software from realities:united. The lighting extends into the outdoor area with a series of DMX-controlled OPTOS downlights. These are mounted in cast-glass façade cassettes in the ceiling, forming a continuous connected interactive light matrix that covers the entire ceiling canopy, stretching right from the north to the south of the building over the whole foyer.

The inclusion of a DALI interface was a core requirement for all luminaires installed in the building. DALI (Digital Addressable Lighting Interface) is a manufacturer-independent standard for easy and uncomplicated lighting control, enabling every luminaire with a DALI interface to be individually managed and dimmed up and down via DALI short addresses. Zumtobel was able to meet this essential specification with all of the luminaires selected for the Futurium.

The whole lighting concept therefore reflects the layout of the Futurium and emphasises the architectural division of the venue into three distinct parts – from the foyer and the events forum to the exhibition area and the “Futurium Lab”. The use of light plays a key role in interacting with the people and the space. In this way, as soon as a significant number of visitors enter a room, the light automatically becomes brighter. If a particular section is empty, the light simply switches to stand-by mode, which also helps limit costs.

Images: Zumtobel

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