Focal point for a changing district

News /
15 May 2016
Focal point for a changing district

Technologically advanced lighting for Ottoplatz and Köln-Deutz train station
The Deutz district, just to the east of the Rhine in Cologne, is in the midst of a transformation as its Deutz/Messe train station is becoming an increasingly important entry point to the city. WE-EF has supplied the high-performance exterior luminaires and advanced energy-saving lighting technology, for both the redesigned Ottoplatz and the historic train station building.

'Real' Cologners consider Deutz to be on the “schäl Sick” (the wrong side) of the Rhine, but over the years the eastern part of the city has changed dramatically. The Köln Messe conference centre and the huge Lanxess Arena attract visitors from around the world and, thanks to its inclusion as a stop on the Intercity-Express (ICE) train route to Frankfurt, Köln-Deutz/Messe station is continuing to gain importance in the region. For many travellers, this station has become the gateway to the city, with its distinctive, historical station building situated on Ottoplatz, a square dedicated to Nikolaus Otto, the inventor of the four-stroke engine.

Berlin landscape architects Böhm Benfer Zahiri won a competition to redesign this important urban space in 2005. It was not until 2012, however, that their winning design was implemented and, in May 2014, officially inaugurated. The illuminated square and train station facade (including its impressive dome) now shine resplendent with the new renovations – a century after its construction from plans drawn up by architect and railway construction employee Hugo Röttcher (1878–1942).

As landscape architect Ms. Ulrike Böhm explained, the aim of her design is to "make the square recognisable again as a public urban space and provide an appropriate setting for this grand building". The design had to take into account the street space, station building and plans for a new, large neighbouring building.

An open view to the train station
The newly renovated Ottoplatz now provides an enormous sense of open space. The historical steps leading up to the train station have been restored in line with monument conservation regulations; in the square in front of the steps two long bench-like structures, like oversized sofas made of concrete, invite passers-by to sit for a while.

The designer's solution for lighting called for two poles to be installed in the square – each just under 18 metres in height and featuring a distinctive architectural curve – from which mounted projectors would illuminate both the station facade and the square itself. Describing her vision of the look of the square at night, Ms. Böhm explained that "we imagined even lighting across the steps and thoroughfares, contrasted with pointed lighting accents on the square to achieve a vibrant appearance".

Despite the long wait, the Berlin landscape architect finally saw her ideas come to life thanks to close collaboration with working partner Isaplan, which developed the layout for traffic management at Ottoplatz.

Gerhard Kleiker, who heads the Public Lighting Division of Cologne energy provider RheinEnergie AG, was responsible for the lighting design of the station facade. He explained that "we were able to convince the railway, for example, to incorporate the new lighting not just on the city-facing side of the station's dome, but also on the platform-facing side as well". As a result, the dome is now a night-time landmark from all angles.

Facade structured with light
The facade lighting emphasises the detailed structuring of the baroque and classical stylistic elements of the train station. A targeted, very narrow beam distribution highlights the channelled pilasters made of shell limestone. This lighting includes the eave cornices and marks a defined end of the facade. To call attention to the entire shape and size of the station, especially its impressive dome, there is a subtle grazing of light across the roof surfaces from projectors mounted on the two poles in the square.

RheinEnergie worked closely with Merbeck Projektlicht from Mönchengladbach on the technical implementation of this lighting concept. "WE-EF had the most appealing overall package of powerful, energy-efficient lighting technology, quality, service and cost-effectiveness, and therefore stood out for us as a supplier," explained Rolf Merbeck.

Positive reports from WE-EF's many previous projects also had an influence on their decision because, he explained, "especially when you plan to work with inground uplights, which require a lot of installation work, long-term quality and reliability are the key elements".

Long-term, energy-efficient lighting with LED technology
The ETC130-GB LED gimbal inground uplights feature a very narrow beam distribution as well as power levels tailored for the various heights of the station facade eaves, in order to achieve an overall uniform illumination. FLC131 LED projectors – mounted out of sight on the station canopy – illuminate the dome. The result is a future-proof, energy-saving lighting solution, featuring maintenance-free LED technology.

Twelve FLC240 projectors are mounted on the two poles in the square, with six projectors per pole. The flexibility of the mounting brackets allows for complete freedom to direct light on to the square yet meet the necessary requirements for uniform illumination. The projectors are fitted with metal halide lamps of varying wattage and feature a combination of either [M] medium or [EE] very narrow beam distributions. A colour temperature of 3000 K for both the train station and the area lighting of the square creates a warm atmosphere and a pleasant urban space for its visitors.


Ottoplatz/Köln-Deutz train station redesign, Cologne

Client: City of Cologne

Landscape architects: bbzl Böhm Benfer Zahiri, Berlin

Lighting design: RheinEnergie AG, Cologne

Completion: May 2014

WE-EF luminaires: ETC130-GB LED inground uplights, FLC131 LED projectors and FLC240 projectors. Accessories include advanced optical lenses and special production poles.


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