Subway Illumination

Light Art for people

Art project Aktivraum Odem

A light band runs along the east-west axis. Coloured light impulses stand for the pulsating life in Brühl. The diversity of the city is reflecting in four metal decor panels.


The pedestrian underpass Brühl Mitte (maps) shines in a new light since 2019: it was formerly known as an area of fear, which is why the city of Brühl commissioned us with a lighting concept (PDF) for this location. Relatively freely, we were able to develop a custom-tailored solution ranging from specially created software to artistic lighting elements. Now the site is bright, friendly, human-centered and playful:


People and colours are reflected in rippling surfaces, while spotlights set colour accents on the opposite side. The lighting is controlled by the changing daylight.


Motion detectors intensify the integration of passers-by into the work of art. When someone approaches one of the entrances or exits, the colour of the ceiling luminaires and wall surfaces changes. This allows activity to be clearly and early detected in areas that are difficult to see.


If you want to feel at ease, the basic illumination also needs to be automated: since natural light is constantly changing, artificial light must also be continuously adjusted, otherwise it is perceived as unpleasing. In Brühl, this is done fully automatically by an industrial control system and multiple sensors coupled with light sources of outstanding quality.


In the central aisle, ceiling luminaires are lined up, controlled by daylight, clouds and the sun. Light is in motion, is sometimes soft, sometimes radiant, sometimes summer morning warm, sometimes glistening cool, but always suitable for the surroundings.


All this - dynamic ceiling lighting, playful accent lighting, reflective liveliness and clear signalling - plays together: The various elements complement each other to form an interactive work of art that serves the citizens and blends harmoniously into the existing urban design.


We would like to thank the City of Brühl for the commission and the trust as well as all other participants for the cooperation. The light production, for which we were responsible, was embedded in a redesign project of the city of Brühl. Overall planning: Wolfgang Mesenholl and team (MWM planning group), Lighting art concept: Rolf Zavelberg and Gordon Axmann (Aktivraum agency), Software development: Marco Endreß (Endreß Mess- und Regeltechnik) in co-operation with Aktivraum, Luminaire construction: Thomas Bernhardt and Tobias Volk (WSH) following ideas from Aktivraum, Locksmithery/wall cladding: Manfred Hamacher and team (Gutzeit), Electrical installation: Dieter Anders and Mr. Wache (Elektro Geuer), Client: City of Brühl, Project Management: Uwe Dieckmann

The video shows the functions of the Aktivraum lighting concept for the underpass in Brühl:


  • bright,
  • friendly,
  • human-centered
  • and playful