Taking place over 225,000 sq. meters of stand space at the Messe Frankfurt, leading manufacturers and their creative teams chose GLP impressions from right across the X4 range to deliver mission critical solutions.
Leading the charge was Volkswagen, where the team from lighting design and technical conception company, rgb gmbh specified a massive 430 of GLP’s new X4 L heads and 300 X4 Bar 20, with the inventory provided by PRG Germany.
The motor show lighting specialists were working for Volkswagen at the IAA for the fourth time in a row. “The automotive industry is a big part of our business as are other corporate events, TV shows and live entertainment,” states director, Dirk Feuerstein, whose own long history of using GLP fixtures dates right back to the pioneering Patend Light.
This year on a stand measuring 9,000sqm (6,500sqm public area) the task of rgb’s six strong team was to highlight the brand’s ‘Think New’ concept, with a design characterized by large media surfaces, combined with white façade elements that were lit dynamically.
It was GLP MD, Udo Künzler who had introduced them to the X4 L. “What was interesting was the increased brightness of the X4 L compared to other fixtures of that size — and also the possibility of using a motorized beam-shaping module,” noted Feuerstein. He became an early adopter before putting them to use on a grand scale for Volkswagen.
At the Frankfurt Messe they were used both for dynamically lighting the architectural elements, which made the stand appear vibrant, and to build increased lighting levels to make the exhibits stand out of their surroundings.
The X4 Bar 20’s were tasked with lighting several hundred running meters of façade elements. “The edges underneath and on top of the media surfaces were only 10cm high, so instead of grazing along a wall as you would normally do, we used the fixtures to directly light a small horizontal structure with the ability to create dynamic effects.”
rgb gmbh’s operators consisted of the experienced Wolfgang Krämer and Boris Kayser with some pre-programming carried out by Tilmann Schumacher from Prefocus GbR, who was also the associated lighting designer on site.
As a result, Volkswagen received much positive feedback for the visual appearance of the booth. “People felt good in this colorful and light atmosphere,” confirms Feuerstein.
Over at BMW 140 X4 Bar 20’s, positioned in the ceiling, saw the stand brought to life by lighting designer Martin Kuhn, who has been working with the brand for three years (on this occasion alongside Berlin based technical planners, NIYU Media Projects).
BMW took over the entire Hall 11 with a surface area of 12,000sqm, incorporating a 300m long driving track and a large stage. Advanced car tracking saw them firing around 40 cues per second from the desk, according to the LD.
In terms of the stand concept, with the new 7 Series as the highlight, ‘luxury’ was the theme, and the lighting had to support and enhance surfaces, colors and moods. Ever eager to try new technology, Martin sourced his lighting from Leyendecker GmbH — including the X4 Bar 20, part of a total consignment of 1380 DMX fixtures.
“I had been looking for something different for the general color wash — and when Oliver Schwendke made me aware of the X4 Bars I knew I had found it,” he said.
The 140 X4 Bar 20s were set overhead in rows. “The stage was 50m wide so we had four rows of 25 battens, spaced 2m apart — plus some more over the audience. We used them in full mode, utilizing all the functions they have.
“I especially like the zoom and generally the new look of the fixture when you see it overhead. The lines of light are new and original and we found a lot of interesting things you could do with them.”
The LD is no stranger to GLP’s impression technology. “I have always liked their products for their reliability and small footprint. Although I am fairly flexible with the choice of fixtures, the X4 Bars are different as they are unique — they are one of very few choices where there is no option to replace it with something else.”
A particular highlight was the presentation of the sporty ‘M’ series, he said. “The lighting looked great and really punchy. The X4 Bar delivered a distinctive look to the stage that I would not have achieved otherwise.”
Martin Kuhn was assisted by Ben Schiller, main operator and co-designer of the stage show, Oliver Ranft who programmed the car track (with another 500 fixtures tracking the cars), as well as the show automation process (OSC and Timecode) and Tim Bungter programmed additional fixtures on the rest of the stand.
Meanwhile, another German automotive giant, Audi, used the compact footprint of X4 S LED fixtures to suspend in front of a mirrored wall. The scheme was designed by another well-known specialist LD, Four To One’s Michael Schmidt, who had produced his first show for Audi back in 1998 at the Geneva Motor Show.
This time around, the GLP X4 S was used in the entrance area of the Audi stand, which followed a ‘Power of Four’ theme. This alluded to the four focus areas: Audi ultra, Audi Technologies, quattro and Audi Sport which had been developed by brand architectural company, Schmidhuber.
All four interior sides of this self-contained stand, providing around 45m x 32m public space, contained huge LED screens with one revolving car on each — presenting the designers with a real challenge.
“Every single light in the display was purpose planned by Four to One,” said Schmidt. This included the GLP impression X4 S fixtures which were concealed behind hexagonal structures in the entrance (at the start of the ‘Experience Walk’)
With specially designed outriggers penetrating the mirrored wall behind, the X4 S illuminated the motors and space frame, integrated into the ‘Audi ultra’ structure. The inventory was again supplied by PRG.
Michael Schmidt’s interest in GLP dates back to the original impression 90 where its baseless design made it easy to integrate into architectural surfaces. As for the X4 S, he had requested a sample for another project and was immediately impressed by its compact size. “And so we decided to use it in the entrance area, combining it with a customer designed beam shaper, which is normally only available for the X4 L. PRG did an extremely good job on that.
“In fact everything worked out perfectly: small fixture size, short distance, shaped beam, good color mixing options matched to the metallic surfaces of the motors and space frame (in custom designed white aluminum finish). We were fortunate to have three of Germany`s best lighting operators, Sascha Matthes, Marcus Boßdorf and Raphael Demonty. And Oliver Schwendke and the team at GLP gave us great support.”
In conclusion, he said, “Our client knew they were giving us challenges, which seemed almost impossible to solve. But they trust us and I think were fully satisfied. The visitors may not have understood the complexity behind it, but they were absolutely impressed.”
Commenting on the overall success of IAA, GLP MD Udo Künzler said, “It is a pleasure to be working with these accomplished lighting designers, since it is them we rely on for feedback during the product development stage, thereby enabling us to deliver an end product exactly tailored to their needs.
“In this instance I am proud that our products were used at the biggest car exhibition, to light up the booths of German car manufacturers.”