Fusing light and nature in Berlin Botanical Garden
Wednesday, 5 September 2018
berlinbotanicalgarden4This year’s show was built around the theme The Light of Nature
Germany - Housing 22,000 plant species within its 43-hectare complex, the Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum stands out as a verdant oasis in midst of Germany's bustling capital, just as it has for over a century. A highlight of the year at this world-renowned facility is its Summer Festival, which features botanical exhibitions and a specially crafted Botanische Nacht live show.
This year’s show, which featured 160 artists, musicians and other performers, was built around the theme The Light of Nature. Lighting designer Denny Arndt helped to bring their performance to life by using 150 Chauvet Professional Épix Strip IP fixtures, supplied by TLT Event AG, to create a vibrant and flexible lighting panorama at the Botanical Garden’s central greenhouse.
With the performances leading visitors through various botanical themes in the main Viktoriahaus tropical greenhouse, Arndt’s design created the “supernova impression” of light being released into the garden and night sky. Arndt specified the ultra-thin Épix linear fixtures to provide a discreet linear arrangement upon the building’s structure.
"The Épix had two key functions within the show,” says Arndt. “Firstly, their modular and discreet linear structure served to highlight the contours of the magnificent Viktoriahaus - the Botanical Garden's most famous building. And secondly, they provided great illumination effects in support of the program, heightening specific moments with bursts of energy and eye candy.”
Thanks to the Épix Strip IP's linear 1m long appearance and 100 pixel mappable LEDs, Arndt was able to utilize the Épix fixtures to create a number of different looks. “I can't stress how versatile the Épix fixtures are," he says. "In addition to pixel mappable effects and strobing to highlight performance numbers, the Épix were singularly responsible for creating the 'gap' effect through which the light from the tropical house appears to break out - a moment which led to beautiful 'Oohs' in the crowd."
From the experiences of the last year, Torsten Moraske (production manager for the Botanical Night) and Arndt were all too aware of the changeable and unpredictable Berlin weather. As a result, all specified fixtures were required to be reliable in both dry and wet conditions. With their IP65-rated housing, the Épix fixtures could withstand unstable weather conditions.
As a result of Arndt's strategic deployment of the Épix fixtures, the fusion of light with the natural elements within the Viktoriahaus - such as orchids, carnivorous plants and giant white water lilies - was a success.
(Jim Evans)

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