Reusing a water tower: light and design.




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Reusing a water tower: light and design.
A water tower in Solingen, Germany has gone through a complete metamorphosis. More than hundred years after it was built, it now has a new use. A symbol – like a lighthouse lighting the future of many abandoned old buildings.

The project’s story lies in its name: “Lichtturm”, or “light tower”.

This idea dates back to 1993 when architect Johannes Dinnebier submitted a project to reuse the tower that had been built in 1904 and was in use until 1983.

It looked destined for demolition because of its advanced state of disrepair but then it was recognised for its historical importance so the decision was made to keep it and turn it into a symbol of sustainable redevelopment.

The tower is now a popular location for a wide variety of cultural events; it is heated using geothermal energy and an advanced automation system controls and reduces energy consumption.

The lighting design, by Düsseldorf-based enterprise “Licht im Raum” only uses OLED lights. This energy-saving technology is used to create plays of light with visual effects that maximise the architectural work itself without adding another financial burden to this revived monument.

Lichtturm Solingen, Germany. http://www.lichtturm-solingen.de/
Tower height: 38 m; diameter of the cupola: 11 m
General project: Johannes Dinnebier
Architects: Fritz Figge, Wuppertal / Jan Dinnebier, Berlin
Structural design: Stefan Polónyi, Cologne
Geothermal plant: Vaillant
Lighting: Licht im Raum, Düsseldorf, http://www.licht-im-raum.de/
Automation system: Gira, Radevormwald
Photos: Courtesy of Lutz Menze Design, Düsseldorf, http://www.lutzmenzedesign.de