Architecture and Light in Dialogue

Neugestaltung Drachenfelsplateau, KönigswinterDistinguished Lighting Design:
Licht Kunst Licht Projects Internationally Recognized

“With our lighting design, we always put ourselves at the service of architecture and the architect’s design intent”, explains Prof. Andreas Schulz, founder and owner of Licht Kunst Licht,  of his office’s work methodology. This respectful and analytical approach to the architectural design and already existing built environments forms a sound foundation for aesthetic, functional and technically sophisticated lighting concepts. Expert juries of international lighting design competitions were convinced, as the realization of these concepts have already led to nine Licht Kunst Licht projects receiving prestigious awards.

The office had the pleasure of receiving awards in three internationally renowned competitions: the IALD International Lighting Design Awards (International Association of Lighting Designers), the GE Edison Awards (General Electric), and the AZ Awards for Design Excellence (Azure Magazine). Further recognition was received domestically  at the Deutscher Lichtdesign Preis, (German Lighting Design Awards) with awards for several individual projects and the prestigious distinction of “Lighting Design Office of the Year.

What is it that they are doing right? One cannot help but ask this in response to such a shower of recognitions. When analyzing the winning projects, it’s clear that all show a remarkably close relationship between light and architecture. Uneccesary, ostensive luminaires are nowhere to be found. Consequently, all light sources at the Drachenfels restaurant near Königswinter are concealed within perforated ceiling coffers. At the subway station Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz in Leipzig, they have been located entirely behind glazed wall and ceiling surfaces, or – similar to the LWL Museum in Munster – they transform into a ceiling integrated luminous frame. In other projects, the light traces the contours and surfaces of the built environment. A good example of this approach is seen in one of the awarded projects, the Ministry of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart, where framing light channels outline the courtyard galleries.

To achieve this integral design approach, it is of eminent importance that the dialogue between architect and lighting designer starts as early as possible. This is not only important for optimal integration of artificial light, but also drives a conscious discussion on the daylight strategy ; Licht Kunst Licht considers electric illumination and daylight design as equally important disciplines. One result of this design approach is the Ahrenshoop Museum of Art, winner of four separate design awards. In cooperation with the architects, the small museum on the Baltic coast has been designed as a succession of spaces predominantly illuminated with daylight, coupled with a synchronized, supporting electric lighting system.

In order to ensure that successful projects emerge from such a design process, an integral planning approach alone will not suffice. An interdisciplinary architectural understanding and a combination of creativity and technical competence are essential requirements. Licht Kunst Licht has the necessary expertise and experience to harness both the design possibilities and technical requirements of new light sources, such as LED and OLED, within complex lighting control systems to utilize their full potential for the task at hand.

The interdisciplinary team at Licht Kunst Licht, consisting of 26 staff members, proficiently master the design tools required to realize attractive, comfortable, and efficient solutions. “I am incredibly proud to have the opportunity to reach for the stars with such a great team for over two decades” underlines Prof. Andreas Schulz in light of the office’s award distinctions. Simultaneously, he never loses sight of the future. “We are delighted to have the privilege of working on such exciting projects. One of them, for example, is the lighting design for the new National Museum of Qatar, designed by Jean Nouvel.”

Overview of Awards:

Deutscher Lichtdesign-Preis
(German Lighting Design Awards,
– 2015 Lighting Design Office of the Year
– 2015 Hospitality Award for the project Restaurant Drachenfelsplateau, Königswinter, Germany
– 2015 Transit Buildings Award for the project Subway Station Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz Leipzig, Germany
– 2015 Jury Award – Daylight for the project Ahrenshoop Museum of Art, Ahrenshoop, Germany

IALD International Lighting Design Awards (
– 2015 Award of Merit for the project Ahrenshoop Museum of Art, Ahrenshoop, Germany

GE Edison Awards
– 2015 Award of Excellence for the project LWL-Museum for Art and Culture, Munster, Germany
– 2015 Award of Merit for the project Ministry of the Interior Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart, Germany
– 2015 Award of Merit for the project Ahrenshoop Museum of Art, Ahrenshoop, Germany

AZ Awards for Design Excellence of the Canadian architecture and design magazine Azure (
– 2015 Award of Merit and winner of People’s Choice Award in the category Lighting Installations for the project LWL-Museum of Art and Culture, Munster, Germany
– 2015 Jury Award in the category Lighting Installations for the project Ahrenshoop Museum of Art, Ahrenshoop, Germany


01  Drachenfelsplateau, Königswinter:
The lighting concept for the Drachenfels restaurant consists of two main components: direct, efficiently shielded downlights for the general illumination and colour controllable RGB-LED light strips in the ceiling coffers to enhance the spatial atmosphere.
(Architect: pape + pape architekten bda, Tore Pape; photo: Lukas Roth)

02  Subway Station Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz, Leipzig:
Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz is a subway station of the new City-Tunnel-Line in Leipzig. Walls and ceilings are made of glass blocks and have been back-lit in such a fashion as to emulate the impression of a daylight flooded underground space.
(Architect: Max Dudler; photo: Christian Günther)

03  Ahrenshoop Museum of Art:
Skylight ribbons scatter diffuse daylight into the spaces of the Ahrenshoop Museum of Art. For design consistency, the artificial light is emanated from the same opening. To achieve this, light profiles have been mounted to the overhead opening’s perimeter skirting.
(Architect: Staab Architekten; photo: Stefan Müller)

04  LWL-Museum for Art and Culture, Munster:
The carefully structured lighting concept of the LWL-Museum for Art and Culture in Munster not only offers a flexible exhibition illumination, but also orchestrates the architecture. It is not the luminaires that are at the design focus, but the light effect.
(Architect: Staab Architekten; photo: Marcus Ebener)

05  Ministry of the Interior, Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart:
The central lighting design element for the Ministry of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart is the use of luminous lines. They are consistently implemented in all building areas and trace the architectural contours.
(Architect: Staab Architekte; photo: Marcus Ebener)

06  Award Ceremony of the Deutscher Lichtdesign-Preis (German Lighting Design Award) 2015:
For the second time, Licht Kunst Licht had the honour of being awarded “Lighting Design Office of the Year”. The jury prize is awarded to the lighting design office with the highest overall score in the competition.
(Photo: Chistoph Meinschäfer)

Detailed Captions

Drachenfelsplateau, Königswinter:
RGB-LED light strips behind the perforated metal panels in the ceiling coffers allow for the option of coloured light in the Drachenfelsplateau restaurant. Direct downlights provide the general illumination. Their gimbal mounting rings ensure that the luminaires can be adjusted to a variety of table layouts. The direct light distribution and the low reflectance room surfaces avoid reflections in the floor-to-ceiling restaurant windows. The great panoramic view of the valley remains undisturbed.
(Architect: pape + pape architekten bda, Tore Pape; Photos: Lukas Roth)

Subway Station Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz, Leipzig:
The Subway Station Wilhelm-Leuschner-Platz is one of four new stations of the City Tunnel Line. Walls and ceilings are made of glass blocks and backlit, thus evoking the impression of a daylight flooded underground space. Special glass blocks in the ceiling have a light transmission of 90%. Located behind them are projectors for the platform illumination. The backlighting of the walls and ceiling is achieved by using omni-directional luminaires that have been installed at an appropriate distance from the glass envelope.
(Architect: Max Dudler, Photos: Christian Günther)

Ahrenshoop Museum of Art:
Five individual buildings, joined into an ensemble by a flat roof expanding between them, form the Ahrenshoop Museum of Art. The shape of the building volumes is evocative of the typical old fishermen’s houses found in the region, with low-eaves thatched roofs.
The museum is day lit from above the roof’s ridge. Here, wide skylight ribbons have been equipped with prisms, sandwiched into the overhead glazing, thus scattering daylight into the space while diverting direct sunlight. Similarly, the electric illumination occurs through the spaces’ apex. Operable screens control the intensity of natural and electric light.
(Architect: Staab Architekten; Photos: Stefan Müller)

LWL-Museum for Art and Culture, Munster:
In the exhibition spaces of the LWL Museum, wall flanking luminous ceilings are employed. The artificial light frame creates an uncluttered ceiling slab and ensures a uniform illumination of the display walls. Integrated in the gap between the light frame and the central ceiling is a lighting track where projectors can be mounted as required. This provides a wide range of lighting options. These options include the exclusive uniform wash lighting of the display walls, a combination of primary illumination and lighting accents, as well as an introverted, dramatic orchestration only using accent lights. The ability to dim the luminous ceilings and each individual LED projector, creates the possibility to adjusting the light to meet each respective visual task and conservation requirement.
(Architect: Staab Architekten; Photos: Marcus Ebener)

Ministry of the Interior, Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart:
Five atria organize the newly constructed building complex of the Ministry of the Interior of Baden-Württemberg in Stuttgart. A perforated facade separates the galleries since the atria are designed to  evoke courtyards or plazas. This impression is emphasized by the lighting solution. A lighting channel outlines all gallery corridors, illuminating the access areas while accentuating the rear walls. Viewed from the atrium, the perforated facade apertures create the impression of luminous windows. The linear light element is a recurring design principle, permeating the illumination concept throughout the building.

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