The WWK Arena in Augsburg has finally gotten a new and impressive façade more than eight years after it officially opened.
For this plan, Zumtobel developed “light tubes”, a unique luminaire that it deployed to provide an architectural highlight to the unusual façade structure. Architects Bernhard & Kögl in Augsburg created the design for the new Augsburg Stadium which opened in 2009. However, it wasn’t until the exterior façade got LED lighting from Zumtobel that the architect’s vision for the stadium brought to reality.
WWK Insurance Group Finances Façade Lighting Project
The new, modern and climate-neutral stadium serves as the home for FC Augsburg and is also utilized as a venue for and women’s national football (soccer) team matches. At the beginning of the 2015/16 season, the WWK Insurance Group began serving as the primary sponsor of FC Augsburg and has since lent its name to the 30,600 seat “WWK Arena”. WWK decided to finance the previously uncompleted façade.
The aluminum structure envelopes the stadium. The enormous LED fluorescent tubes interlace into the aluminum tube construction in an irregular, Mikado stick-like configuration (like the game Pick-Up-Sticks as it was called in the U.S.). Zumtobel embraced the idea and vision of the architects of using the oversized tube lights throughout the project.
Architects Offer More Appealing Facade Design
In the design competition for the new stadium, the original plan for the façade was a Profilit glass shell in the club colors green, red and white. Afterward, architects Titus Bernhard and Peter Kögl presented a more desirable façade design with round aluminum spans and LED tubes. However, the façade was not commissioned at the time.
It was only when FC Augburg’s new 10-year sponsor WWK, FC Augsburg’s came on board since the 2015/16 season that the architectural façade of the stadium could be finished. In September 2017 the project was completed.
Façade owner and sponsor, WWK, again commissioned the Augsburg architects to implement the project. They
received the contract to adapt their façade design with round aluminum spans and LED tubes. The project team “Atelier of Light”, which deploys architectural projects with custom solutions at Zumtobel, had already been in direct contact with Titus Bernhard through previous joint plans. Thus, in close cooperation with the architects, Zumtobel developed the entire design concept for the light façade based on LED technology.
Virtual Reality Presentation
Prior to implementation, the “Atelier of Light” team put the façade lighting concept in a three-dimensional stadium model using Zumtobel’s own “HILITE” tool. Then, the team presented the lighting concept to the clients and architects at Terminal V in Lauterach using a virtual reality application.
“It was only because of the expertise of the ‘Atelier of Light’ in various areas of special construction, lighting design and visualisation, combined with a unique network of competent, external specialists and partners that we were able to implement the development and production of this unique and impressive lighting solution in line with the architect’s vision,” said Oliver Mosselman, Project Manager in the Complex Project Management Team of the Atelier of Light at Zumtobel.
Zumtobel Creates Gigantic Tube Lights for WWK Arena Façade
The complex façade structure features a combination of aluminum and fluorescent tubes, which are interwoven with each other. The tubes create a depth depending on the distance between them, where they seem more or less dense at places. The design was not just positioning regular LED tubes in a pattern.
Zumtobel had to custom create enormous tube lights measuring 8 meters in length and 20 cm in diameter, about 10-times the size of conventional LED tubes. The designers wanted these special light tubes to have the same dimensions as the aluminum tubes that are part of the façade construction. The giant tubes are equipped with IP67 RGB LED continuous rows. With the dynamically controllable RGB lighting, the facade could be illuminated in all possible color variations and combinations.
Mounting the enormous and heavy light tubes on the façade was especially difficult because the tubes had to be integrated into the façade as a structural load-bearing element. Therefore, building authorities had to approve the use of the tubes as a load-bearing element.
Contrast 2LED L RGB spotlights from Zumtobel Group brand, Thorn, enhance the lighting concept. These 36 powerful LED spotlights mounted on existing light poles around the stadium support the light tubes in illuminating the stadium façade and serve as basic lighting for the façade structure.
Spotlights Mounted on Poles Offer General Illumination
Like the giant tubes, the spotlights span the entire RGB color spectrum, meaning that they not only reinforce the adjusted color scenes but they also enhance the highlighting of the façade structure and further emphasize the three-dimensional nature of the entire construction.
The mast lights and light tubes are controlled through the use of a DMX server from livebau Solutions GmbH. Each tube and each spotlight are individually controllable, and the color and intensity of the individual luminaires can be adjusted.
“Upon the final completion of the new açade, the WWK Arena gains a huge upgrade and yet another architectural highlight. The WWK Arena in Augsburg is designed as a FIFA stadium for international (country) matches and is one of the few stadiums in Germany that attracts attention with its impressive façade and creates a special atmosphere for fans,” concluded Jürgen Schrameier, chairman of the board of WWK.