Hellenstein Castle: City of Heidenheim landmark perfectly staged

New lighting ensures an attractive night-time appearance 

The landmark of the city of Heidenheim is attracting attention from far and wide: Hellenstein Castle majestically crowns a 70-meter-high cliff, offering a picturesque view of the city and its surroundings.
As a proud legacy of the city’s history, the castle also comes into its own at night: Installed in June 2017, the new lighting system with LED spotlights by GRIVEN, a sister company of Hess, ensures an attractive night-time appearance and successfully showcases the fine architectural details of the castle.

The design office Winkels Concepts of Dortmund drafted the illumination concept, placing its confidence in LED spotlights from GRIVEN and the illumination expertise of Hess

The castle was illuminated for more than 30 years with NAV and HST spotlights, which are quite inefficient from today’s perspective and which had very poor colour rendering properties due to their uniformly yellow light.
This meant that until now the castle reigned in the dark as the “yellow ensemble” above the city. Its special features, such as its dominant corner towers, multi-layer building façades from various architectural periods, entrances and architectural details of the façades, could barely be discerned.
Not only that, but at the end of 2015, an existing spotlight location in the city centre of Heidenheim became unavailable, making city-side illumination of the castle impossible. Lighting designer and architect Martin Schepers from the design office Winkels Concepts in Dortmund developed a lighting concept here that was successfully implemented on site in April 2016 using LED spotlights from GRIVEN.
The new lighting was launched in close collaboration with Ralf Käpplinger, Heidenheim’s city planner, and Hess, which is responsible for distribution of GRIVEN products in Germany.

Planers and contributors

Client: City of Heidenheim
Project partners: GRIVEN and Hess
Lighting concept: Design Office Winkels Concepts, Dortmund 
Luminaires: Powershine MK2 S RGBW, Parade S-RGBS-40 Recessed, Parade S-RGBW-20, Emerald spotlights RGBW, Coral RGBW spotlights
Photos: Markus Brandhuber

Accentuation of the castle for attractive perspectives close up and at a distance

Deliberately placed spotlights

“With the lighting it was imperative to portray Hellenstein Castle not only as an object that defines the skyline against the backdrop of night but also to frame the qualities of the ensemble and architecture with light”, explains Martin Schepers in regard to the challenges of the façade lighting.
He is considered an expert in the field of architectural lighting and has already illuminated numerous edifices and castles in Germany.
“Thanks to the new lighting, the castle is to be better showcased”, Ralf Käpplinger adds. To illuminate the castle, a warm, white light between 3000 and 4000 Kelvin with high colour rendering was required. This should resul tin an object that appears sculptural from close up and that is recognised asa distinctive Heidenheim landmark from a distance.
These objectives were achieved with deliberately placed spotlights that emphasise the ensemble, the architecture and the materiality in graduated brightness values. “In addition, through long-standing cooperation between the city of Heidenheim and Hess, a relationship of trust already existed, facilitating the implementation of the lighting system”, Martin Schepers continues.
It took a full year to prepare the implementation of the lighting concept, which utilised light calculations and computer simulations. The new lighting was put into operation by the project partner sin mid-June 2017 after the final fine adjustments.

A total of 35 different LED spotlights provide an absolute highlight

In order to achieve the desired lighting effect, around half of the 35 LED spotlights were installed at new locations around the castle, including eight Powershine MK2 S Spotlight sin RGBW with variously defined beam angles to ensure effective illumination of the mainwalls. Parade S-RGBW-40 Recessed in RGBW were placed into the walkway in front of an indoor building, providing attractive wall-washer effects.
Additional Parade S-RGBW-20 luminaireswere fixed upside-down below the eaves of a building in the inner courtyard. Due to the elliptical emission patterns, the entire footpath and façade were illuminated here. Complementary Emerald spotlights in RGBW configuration were mounted on an existing mast in front of the northern castle wall, plunging it and its towers into a diffuse light with the option of coloured light.
Under the drawbridge, Coral RGBW Spotlights emphasise the front entrance of the castle. All the luminaires were supplied especially for this project in a dark grey tone (DB 703), which discreetly blends with the natural stone nuances of the castle walls.
Newly installed wireless DMX transmitters, receivers and signal amplifiers around the castle enable seamless DMX signal transmission. Here it was important to preserve the character of the castle and not to adulterate it by running additional cables. This made it possible to implement long-distance routing which would have been difficult if not impossible to achieve with signal cables.

Castle lighting becomes an experience

“It’s an entirely new castle”, said city planner Ralf Käpplinger with enthusias mafter putting the lighting into operation. Walls, cornices and windows impressively emerge and become much more sculpturalthan before.
Carsten Winkels of Winkels Concepts, who acted as an advisor on the project, is also very pleased with the new night-time appearance of Hellenstein Castle: “Right from the beginning, we had precise ideas about how we wanted to achieve contemporary illumination of the castle. The subtly graduated light with high colour-rendering quality was to emphasise the architecture and the entire ensemble, staging the castle with all of its diversity – and that is what we accomplished!”