Drive Berlin

Drive Berlin

Volkswagen has recently inaugurated its new DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum in Berlin, unveiling a revitalised communication hub situated at Friedrichstraße/Unter den Linden. This innovative platform brings together all twelve of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft’s group brands, including Volkswagen, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen commercial vehicles, Scania, and MAN, along with Volkswagen Financial Services AG, under one roof.

The driving force behind the development of this comprehensive concept was to engage in ongoing dialogues with people. Architect Professor Christoph Mäckler utilised the 4,000 square meters of space to create an exceptional “stage” that hosts temporary exhibitions and stage setups, offering visitors unique insights into the diverse visions and significant topics of the Volkswagen Group. Moreover, the DRIVE. Volkswagen Group Forum features a model car and brand store, a bistro, a gourmet restaurant, and state-of-the-art conference and meeting facilities to cater to its guests.

The lighting aspect was also held to high standards. Temporary exhibitions and stage presentations require a flexible lighting concept that highlights people, space, and exhibits. To achieve this, the lighting designer, RHEIN LICHT Beratende Lichtplaner, embraced the “doubling of light” principle as a central theme throughout the project. A custom, multi-functional lighting duct, developed in collaboration with luminaire manufacturer, served as a tool for the implementation. This innovative lighting duct not only provided illumination but also integrated other building functions such as smoke detection, sprinklers, air-conditioning, and emergency lighting, while also complementing the new architecture with its clear and seamless integration.

The second aspect of this approach focused on understanding light, which emphasised that the full potential of a space can only be realised through the combination of surface and accentuating light. Wallwashers and Downlights were combined for general illumination, while spotlights were used on stage to provide scenographic lighting. The arrangement of these luminaires allowed for various emission characteristics and beam spread angles, enabling occasion-specific flexibility in room presentation.

Prior to the execution, the project underwent an extensive 2-year planning phase. This allowed for testing of interactions and consideration of individual light scenes, especially since a large multi-media LED screen is positioned in this exhibition area.

The main entrance to the building is located beneath the arcades, leading visitors into an impressive 7.6-meter-high exhibition room with a central axis and two upper-level galleries. Guiding visitors to the reception counter on the right presented a design challenge, which was met by utilising Downlights to achieve harmonious general illumination. Circular light ceilings with varying diameters, reaching a maximum of 4.6 meters, create an atmosphere similar to daylight. The light duct used in other areas of the building is employed here in a radial array, incorporating round Downlights. These luminaires combine a 28 W power output and a warm colour temperature of 3000 K, along with excellent colour rendering capabilities. Various light scenes can be individually adjusted to create different atmospheres.

The facility offers several rooms equipped with state-of-the-art technology for meetings, conferences, and one-on-one discussions. To ensure optimal lighting adaptation for each purpose, the luminous colour and intensity can be adjusted independently. The Downlights, available in the WarmDim version, offer adjustable luminous colour temperatures. Additionally, the linear luminaires can switch between warm white light and cool light. This flexibility allows for a wide range of light scenes using the DALI control system. Both groups of luminaires are integrated into the multi-functional light duct, and the linear lights were specifically tailored to match the width of the square Downlights for this particular project.

The venue also features two separate food service areas to cater to physical well-being. Visitors can enjoy uninterrupted views of Berlin’s magnificent “Unter den Linden” boulevard while choosing between reinterpreted Berlin-style sandwiches or high-level culinary creations by executive chef Philipp Liebisch. The lighting concept in these areas focuses on accentuating different interior design statements. The Downlights, known for their excellent colour rendering index and available beam spread angles, were perfectly suited for this task. Additional acoustic ceilings were incorporated to enhance the room’s pleasant atmosphere, and a custom-built mounting ring ensures secure support for the Downlights in the ceiling system.

The venue also features two separate food service areas to cater to physical well-being. Visitors can enjoy uninterrupted views of Berlin’s magnificent “Unter den Linden” boulevard while choosing between reinterpreted Berlin-style sandwiches or high-level culinary creations by executive chef Philipp Liebisch. The lighting concept in these areas focuses on accentuating different interior design statements. The Downlights, known for their excellent colour rendering index (Ra>95) and available beam spread angles of 20°, 40°, and 60°, were perfectly suited for this task. Additional acoustic ceilings were incorporated to enhance the room’s pleasant atmosphere, and a custom-built mounting ring ensures secure support for the Downlights in the ceiling system.

Lighting Design:
RHEIN LICHT Beratende Lichtplaner, Düsseldorf
Photography:
Ansgar Maria van Treeck, Düsseldorf
Architecture:
Prof. Christoph Mäckler Architekten, Frankfurt a.M.
Interior design:
Kubix, Berlin
Media design:
Macom Medientechnik, Stuttgart
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