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Chauvet lights up neo-Gothic church

Chauvet lights up neo-Gothic church
All images courtesy of Dennis Poser

Chauvet lights up neo-Gothic church


With its green copper-capped spire reaching 75m into the sky, Saint Hippolytus Church in Gelsenkirchen stands high above the houses, shops and modern, small industrial buildings that surround it. And the space inside the 650-seat neo-Gothic structure is just as impressive inside as it is outside: colourful “Praise the Space” choir windows, towering yoked ceiling and cantoned pillars. Accentuating the church’s timeless architectural features is a new LED system featuring Chauvet Professional fixtures installed by Lambda Light and Media Design.

‘We had already done some projects for services and celebrations at Saint Hippolytus, so the church was familiar with our work,’ said Markus Lipphaus from Lambda. ‘There was an understanding that the old lighting system needed to be replaced. LED fixtures were the logical choice, especially considering the energy savings.

‘This is an official landmark built in 1898 so, for us, it was important to highlight the great architecture,’ he continued. ‘I had the idea of indirectly lighting the ceiling, which was already pure white, and therefore perfect for this type of illumination angle. Next, we wanted to highlight very particular spots, like the side of the church with the huge windows. Also, the middle pillars are great for uplighting. With the NET-X II, we were able to program different scenes for the different services very easily.  For concerts or other events, we are able to control and change everything easily via sACN. This enables very different types of lighting effects.’

The lighting rig features 40 COLORado fixtures and 12 Ovation units, in addition to the single NET-X II.  These include eight COLORado 1-Quad fixtures positioned in the main hall, as well as 24 COLORado 2-Solo and eight COLORado 1-Solo units, which are used in the main hall and for uplighting. Some of the COLORado Solo fixtures were also used with a pair of Ovation C-805FC units to uplight the church’s pillars and other features, including its organ.  At the entrance area, Lipphaus mounted 10 Ovation FTD-55WW warm white Fresnel units with barn doors.

‘From a lighting perspective, an old church is different in many ways,’ added Lipphaus. ‘The old structure requires a lot of thinking ahead, as well as a secure installation. The electric situation had to be analysed by an electrician first and some details had to be renovated in order to support LED lighting. With the church’s impressive structure, the fixtures had to be very subtle; you don’t want the lighting system to pop in the eyes on first sight. The fixtures needed to be very quiet, but still had to be IP65-rated, because of them being placed in a moist and old structure.’

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