Warm light for an atmospheric church interior

Church St. Johann Baptist

Warm light for an atmospheric church interior

A sacred building in the neo-Romanesque style of the 19th century, large glass windows with minimal tinting that let in a lot of daylight: For the parish church of St. Johann Baptist in Neu-Ulm, Bartenbach implemented a lighting design that gives priority to natural daylight incidence and makes optimum use of it. At the same time, the lighting experts used artificial light, which gives the church a warm impression - like candlelight. This subtly emphasises the spatial effect and enhances the atmosphere. St. Johann Baptist was also the first church building that Bartenbach planned and implemented with variable colour temperatures.

Historical church building with roots in the 19th century.

The church of St. Johann Baptist was built as a garrison church and consecrated in 1857. Today it is part of the Catholic parish community of Neu-Ulm. Between 1922 and 1926, the original church building was adapted: With the extension of the side aisles, the baptistery, the war memorial chapel, the portal porch, the sacristy, the choir chapel and the sacristan's flat, the church was rebuilt to its present form. The designs came from the pen of the young master builder Dominikus Böhm. 

During the Second World War, air raids severely damaged the church. In the post-war period, it was therefore rebuilt a second time according to the plans of master builder Dominikus Böhm. At the request of the congregation, he adapted the lighting concept by making the windows wider. The essence of the historical light-space concept - the optical orientation towards the chancel as the spiritual centre of the church - could be strengthened. Between 1980 and 1985, the church was again comprehensively restored: In the process, the building fabric was secured and a heating system was installed, and the crypt and church interior were further equipped in detail. 

Daylight at the centre, artificial light added.

To this day, daylight has an enormous influence on the church interior of St. Johann Baptist - thanks to the large glazing, which is only minimally tinted. Bright sunlight enters the building and gives it its very own touch. Instead of pure artificial lighting, the lighting experts from Bartenbach planned a subtle complement to daylight. In addition to light for the daytime hours, the concept also includes an evening light as well as festive and winter lighting moods in a warm colour tone. The result is a unique candlelight-like atmosphere.

The right lighting mood for every event.

Whether baptism, confirmation or wedding: in order to be able to optimally illuminate the various rituals and celebrations in the church year, Bartenbach analysed the respective lighting situations in advance and programmed suitable lighting scenes on this basis. St. Johann Baptist is the first church building that Bartenbach planned and implemented with variable colour temperatures. The aim of the lighting design was to bathe the church interior as if in the glow of a candle. With colour temperatures around 2,200 Kelvin, a particularly atmospheric warm tone is created that resembles candlelight. For comparison: classic warm white is around 2,700 Kelvin - which is perceptibly whiter than candlelight. 

Hidden artificial light, visible effect.

To make the church room appear as natural as possible, Bartenbach has sensitively integrated the artificial light into the architecture. The coffered ceiling, also known as a fan ceiling, allows luminaires to disappear inconspicuously. In addition, integrated luminaires were placed behind the apostle candles in the heart of the church. The candlelight of the real wax luminaires is supported by Bartenbach lighting technology, giving the room a unique atmosphere. 

In the side aisles, pendant luminaires were installed that blend in perfectly with the existing architecture. Bartenbach installed concealed surface-mounted spotlights behind the wall projections without changing the character of the architecture as a result. The overall effect is to create a special atmosphere in the church, allowing reflection and inner contemplation and drawing visitors' attention to what is happening in the sanctuary. 

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