The 100 year old concert building De Vereeniging in Nijmegen recently has been renovated by Braaksma & Roos and Beersnielsen was hired for the lighting design of the public domain.
This beautiful old building has been renovated so many times that there was nothing left of the original transparency. One of the major tasks for both the architect and Beersnielsen was to restore the connection between outside, the grand café and the big staircase to the Grote Zaal. Besides that the grand café and the foyer should be useable together and separately.
By replacing the old wall between the café and restaurant by a slideable glass wall the transparency improved dramatically, but by placing the same fixtures in the grand cafe and the foyer the two spaces connect seamlessly even when they are separated by the glass wall.
Light is not only an important connector between different zones in the building, but it also plays an important part in the multifunctional use of the building. By using an adaptable lighting system with several color tones, it is possible to create a festive nightlife atmosphere during concerts, a business environment during conferences and also an intimate whiskey moment in the grand café.
The family of brass fixtures is related to original interior details and fit both with the new remodeling as with the classic feeling of the building. The family of fixtures comprises of small and big chandeliers with four or five spotlights, rectangular and square pendants, small spotlights and wall. The chandeliers and pendants combine indirect uplight and direct downlight, independently useable and adjustable.
The look and feel of the foyer has been extended to the bypass to the toilets and cloakroom. By using the same fixtures and for example the design of the light wall that is based on a detail in the foyer’s staircase. An extra difficulty in the lighting design was the fact that only wall fixtures could be used, because of acoustic and physical conditions.
The lighting design of the beautiful Grote Zaal, consisting of downlights, projectors and decorative lights, emphasizes the spaciousness of the heart of the building. Of course these lights are adjustable for every kind of concert or performance, from warm classic to rock. A special effect is achieved by the decorative silver bulbs, which sparkle and cast beautiful shadows.
Just like any other project this project had some specific challenges, like the fact that the new light design had to match with the existing cabling, it was not possible to add extra or custom cabling. To combine new techniques with existing installations demanded creative solutions, such as wireless controls.
The result of this interesting project is a lighting design that matches and connects this multifunctional building.