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Zumtobel illuminates the new halls at the Messe Dornbirn exhibition centre

The modern architecture and expansive new areas of the Messe Dornbirn exhibition centre fuse impressive aesthetics with practical functionality. Three new exhibition halls, two foyers, a delivery yard and a versatile seminar area bearing the unique signature of the Vorarlberg architect brothers Marte.Marte have been constructed on a site covering 10,500 square metres. The spectacular and imposing buildings are showcased by an innovative lighting concept from Zumtobel.

The fundamental idea by Marte.Marte was to create one large entity by deliberately bringing together the different exhibition spaces. © Zumtobel / Faruk Pinjo

The distinctive bright red elliptical entrances for the new sections of the Messe Dornbirn exhibition centre, designed by multi-award-winning architecture firm Marte.Marte, were opened to the public for the first time on 21 July. The fundamental idea behind the new presentation and event halls was to create one large entity by deliberately bringing together the different exhibition spaces, foyers and delivery centre. The result is a truly monolithic structure, more than 170 metres in length, almost 70 metres wide and 17 metres high - a "black box" with unmistakable bright red ellipses carved into the building, representing a combination of practicality and baroque style that cannot help but generate interest and intrigue.

The result is a truly monolithic structure – a "black box" with unmistakable bright red ellipses carved into the building. © Zumtobel / Faruk Pinjo

The power and dimensions of the spaces are key factors. The ceiling construction of the building complex is made up of 65 laminated timber beams that each measures 66 metres. These rest on 11-metre-high wooden supports, which stand at 1.8-metre intervals along the length of the halls. Wood also plays a major role in the interior, with concrete additionally used where appropriate.

The tricky task of a precise, even and flexible illumination of the entire halls despite the enormous ceiling heights was solved by Zumtobel with an innovative customised fitting from the TECTON Balanced White lighting range. © Zumtobel / Faruk Pinjo

The core concept of the architects Marte.Marte is evident throughout the new exhibition areas, with bold incisions in the corporate colour of the Messe Dornbirn denoting the different access points, authentically and intriguingly presented by photographer Faruk Pinjo. The western main façade features elliptical delivery yards and entrance areas, while an impressive 14-metre-high elliptical doorway welcomes visitors to the inner area of the complex. The vivid black wooden interiors of Hall 9 and Hall 11, the largest space of its kind in the county of Vorarlberg with a total area of 4800 square metres, offer the ideal setting for a wide variety of different events. This powerful mass of black is broken up by the elliptical entrances, painted in the red of the exhibition centre to create a striking colour combination that passes seamlessly into the somewhat more formal settings of Hall 10 and Hall 12.

© Zumtobel / Faruk Pinjo

The special challenge for the lighting solution is not only the variety of functional areas but also the incredible dimensions of the halls, boasting lengths of 75 metres and room heights of 11 metres. Exhibitions, trade fairs, concerts, company parties or congresses – the lighting has to meet the exacting demands of vastly contrasting events. In addition, the solutions need to be efficient and should fulfil specific architectural requirements, such as the visual staging of prominent sections of the external façade and the precise, even and flexible illumination of the entire halls – despite the enormous ceiling heights. Zumtobel solved these tricky tasks with innovative customised fittings from the TECTON Balanced White and PANOS infinity lighting ranges.

The versatile TECTON Balanced White continuous-row system – a product from the new "the editions - extended collection" special portfolio – allows individual adaptation of the colour temperature to reflect the particular application. This ensures consistently high levels of light quality and enhanced visitor well-being – no matter how the space is used. TECTON is the world's first continuous-row system to feature an 11-pole current conducting section installed in the trunking. All key functions are seamlessly integrated into the versatile rail, including power supply, lighting controls and emergency lighting.

The stairwells and the red foyer are illuminated using the PANOS infinity architectural lighting system, offering a leading combination of versatility and energy efficiency. The round LED recessed downlights comprehensively cover every aspect of sophisticated lighting tasks. The light is characterised by a pleasant colour temperature, making it very similar to daylight. With a system luminous efficiency of up to 100 lumens per watt, PANOS infinity is twice as efficient as conventional downlights. Zumtobel produced the fittings for the Messe Dornbirn in the customised tones of black and red, supporting a solution that integrates seamlessly into the overall colour scheme of the architecture.

The red foyer is illuminated using the PANOS infinity architectural lighting system, offering a leading combination of versatility and energy efficiency. © Zumtobel / Faruk Pinjo

Numerous joint projects have stemmed from the long-standing partnership enjoyed by the two Vorarlberg companies Marte.Marte and Zumtobel. These include the exhibitions "Appearing Sculptural" and "Concrete Works" at the Zumtobel Light Forum in Dornbirn, and a cooperation at the Venice Biennial 2016.

The round LED recessed downlights PANOS infinity – produced for the Messe Dornbirn in the customised tones of black and red – comprehensively cover every aspect of sophisticated lighting tasks. © Zumtobel

"Architecture is extremely important in our company, as light plays such a crucial role in this discipline. The right lighting can generate completely different effects and spatial atmospheres. The fascinating thing about light is that it really creates spaces. That is why we are especially proud to have realised a project with the renowned Vorarlberg architecture studio Marte.Marte - especially because it is a project in our home town," confirmed Manuel Staudinger from Zumtobel Group Vorarlberg, who was responsible for the special lighting solution developed in cooperation with the "Atelier of Light" and Marte.Marte. The Atelier of Light department at the Zumtobel Group can call on an expert team of lighting designers and developers to devise client-oriented lighting systems for large and complex architectural projects.

The versatile TECTON Balanced White continuous-row system – part of the new "the editions - extended collection" special portfolio – allows individual adaptation of the colour temperature to reflect the particular application. © Zumtobel / Faruk Pinjo