Two cutting-edge broadcast studio spaces utilized by German TV news channel Welt are at the epicentre of the stunning new Axel Springer Building in Berlin’s Kreuzberg district, which recently opened for business.
The studio lighting and control systems were specified and designed by the ARRI System Group in Berlin, a division of the Munich-based ARRI Group … whose team oversaw the integration and installation of broadcast lighting for overall systems integrator, Qvest Media.
The use of moving lights underpins the fundamental flexibility and efficiency required by the studios’ technical and lighting infrastructure to avoid needing roof access for refocusing, repositioning, etc.
The 98 x Robe T1 Fresnel luminaires were chosen as a key element of the lighting design for several reasons including the overall quality, value, and form factor of the products.
Another main driver was the option to have the fixtures supplied with two RJ45 ethernet ports to facilitate connection to the studio’s IP based control system.
This was a cornerstone of the entire studio lighting design and enables the constant central feedback and status monitoring of all fixtures, a functionality vital for the smooth running of a 24-hour studio environment.
The lighting package also included nine Robe Tetra2 moving LED battens, and the deal was cemented by the outstanding service from the teams at both Robe Germany in Munich, and Robe HQ in the Czech Republic.
The ARRI team was led by their head of projects Paul Flemming, senior lighting network architect Carolin Schramm and Torsten Hauer, lighting designer for the ARRI System Group. They were all instrumental in supporting lighting consultants mo2 in the winning combination of these Robe T1 Fresnel luminaires and ARRI’s SkyPanels.
Paul Flemming explains that while the original lighting tender stipulated DMX control, after detailed discussions further down the line, IP control was preferred to maximise efficiency and reduce the number of staff needed to run the studios. The set up effectively enables one service engineer to operate all elements of the studio technology via the control network.
Paul Flemming explains that in addition to the above-mentioned features, the quality of the light output from the Robe T1 Fresnels was far superior to other fixtures, and they easily met the 600 Lux general intensity requirement.
“Working with Robe has been excellent. It’s a first choice for the integration of moving lights into a broadcast lighting infrastructure,” concludes Paul.
The studios both measure 175 square metres and have 5.5 metres of headroom.
Studio 1 is rigged with 47 x Robe T1 Fresnels, the nine Tetra2 bars and 42 x ARRI SkyPanels as the main lighting. Three sides of the studio walls are LED clad behind an opera foil / gauze, and there are nine motorized – fully mobile – video panel ‘trucks’ which can be used in multiple positions. The Tetra2s are attached to the top of these LED panels so back light can be easily focused on presenters standing in front.
The four cameras in the studio include one in the roof, and are all on robotic dollies / arms, also driven from the control room and capable of moving almost anywhere around the space.
Studio 2 is rigged with 51 x Robe T1 Fresnels and 60 x ARRI SkyPanels. Half of this studio features a green-screen setup, while the other half is clad with video wall behind an opera gauze.
The Axel Springer Building project was initiated in 2015 and built from the ground up on Zimmerstrasse, a street once separated by the two sides of the Berlin Wall – a fact also embraced in its unique architecture.
The ARRI System Group team spent around 5 months on-site during 2020 overseeing and commissioning the lighting and control installation systems in the two studios.
Robe’s director of global sales Harry von den Stemmen commented, “Robe and ARRI have recently intensified their co-operation in ARRI’s most important sector, broadcast, where ARRI is a world leader, due to its firmly established business unit, the ARRI System Group. As a systems integrator in its own right, this is attractive and efficient for ARRI customers building new, fully automated studios with the latest technologies like Axel Springer in Berlin. We are delighted to have collaborated on this high-profile project, and that our lights are such a good match for their technology and ideas.
“It is a win-win for both companies and Axel Springer Studios Berlin will be a benchmark project in the exciting and emerging field of complete TV studio automation.”
Photos: © WeltN24 GmbH Anne Hufnagl.