Lüdenscheid, Germany

The symbolism of light plays a central role in all cultures and religions, including the Christian tradition. The lighting of a candle is a symbol and ritual in the church room. Through the light of the candle a spiritual connection to the transcendent, the beyond or the infinite is established.
For the Christuskirche the light of the candle is used as a tradition. It refers to the deep relationship of man with this medium. In the Christian contemplation of the divine, Jesus Christ is embodied by the Easter candle.
The design idea for the illumination of the Christuskirche is the application of the special characteristics of candlelight. The gradient of the light colour of a candle flame is projected onto the facade of the Christuskirche. In this way, the church appears in the evening and night hours in a progression of light colours and luminance that extends from the base of the church to the roof of the church tower. The lower parts of the facade appear in a bright light with a cool white light colour. In the central area of the façade, this changes to a neutral white light, while the luminance of the façade steadily decreases. In the upper area of the church tower, the light colour changes into an amber light. The illumination culminates in slightly pulsating points of light which are projected by gobo projectors analogous to candlelight on the dark, unlit roof of the church tower. Originally, LED screens were planned for this, which showed the abstract image of a flickering candle. However, this suggestion was rejected by the monument preservation authorities in the course of planning.
For the perception of the church in the night image of the town of Lüdenscheid, the characteristic of the candlelight should be visible as a progression of light colours and luminance on the facade. At a distance, the church protrudes from the city’s sea of houses as a hexagonal pyramid of discreet points of light.
The light of the candle as a progression of light colours or colour temperatures projected onto the façade of Christuskirche represents a re-coding of the architectural lighting. It is not the accentuation of individual structural elements of the façade that is in the foreground but rather the symbiosis of the symbolism of candlelight light as an expression of the significance of the building with the architecture itself.

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