Applications | | Jun 20, 2024 Illuminates the New Building of the Dessau Synagogue

The newly built synagogue in Dessau is characterised by the long-standing collaboration between the German lighting manufacturer and the well-known architect Alfred Jacoby. This project underlines's expertise in the development of customised special luminaires that can be harmoniously combined with the manufacturer's existing products.

As part of this project, the founders and designers Manfred Wolf and Jean-Marc da Costa created an impressive menorah. This central light sculpture is complemented by a variety of wall, pendant and ceiling lights from the range. The lighting concept of the new synagogue creates a lighting atmosphere that impressively emphasizes the spiritual and architectural significance of the building. once again demonstrates its ability to enrich sophisticated architectural projects with innovative and aesthetically pleasing lighting solutions.

New synagogue in Dessau

The cornerstone ceremony in 2019 marked the start of the construction of the new synagogue in Dessau-Roßlau. The building was completed at the end of 2023 and inaugurated in the presence of Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Architect Alfred Jacoby, who has decades of experience with new synagogue buildings, was responsible for the design of the place of worship. Under the direction of the Frankfurt office, new buildings have already been constructed in Darmstadt, Heidelberg, Aachen, Cologne, Kassel and Chemnitz. Their training as graduate designers at the HfG Offenbach and initial experience in the manufacture of luminaires with their company, founded in 1983, predestined them for this special task.

The menorah

The chandelier was to be installed as a wall-mounted iconic symbol next to the Torah shrine on a wooden panelling. The design presents itself as a reduced arrangement of seven lines, which "float" next to each other without touching each other due to their attachment to a separate plate on the back and radiate a certain lightness and immateriality. This effect is further emphasised by the backlighting of the individual arms. The panel and chandelier are made of solid, laser-cut aluminium. The panel was anodised in black and the chandelier in bronze. LED strips operated by dimmable electronic drivers were chosen for the light source mounted on the back.

Special lighting for prayer room

In Dessau, the architects opted for a ceiling design that incorporates the Star of David as a striking central element. An elaborate chandelier would have clashed with the design of the ceiling and was therefore out of the question. The decision was therefore made to hang individual luminaires from the current range.

The DRAFT pendant luminaire with its blue-coloured glass sphere and internal cone, which is closed at the bottom with a translucent diffuser disc, emphasises the special ceiling design with its double ring-shaped arrangement without disturbing it. The main focus in the central part of the building was on the seven-armed chandelier.

Wall and ceiling lights in the prayer hall

The menorah is surrounded by flat, circular wall luminaires from the LID series, which emit their light around the sides of the wall and only allow a corona at the edge of the surface through an opaque glass pane, creating a spherical aura of light.

SLICE² PI, another model, is used in the rear section of the synagogue with a lower ceiling height. The very flat 30 mm high ring of the ceiling luminaire serves as a support and heat sink for the LEDs, which feed their light laterally towards the center into a specially adapted acrylic surface of a five-layer structure. Most of the light is emitted downwards and is finely directed into the room via a pyramid structure. A thin, chemically hardened pane of real glass forms the top. The floating effect of the luminaire is created by a small amount of light that is emitted onto the ceiling via an opaque film. Size M in black was selected.

Black is also the colour of the other lights used in the adjoining rooms. One of these is the REFLEX², series, which has a fine frame structure. Its light is emitted onto the ceiling via four LED boards and partially reflected back into the room via the prismatic reflector of the luminaire. The control gear, which supplies the LEDs with an output of 50 watts, is located under this plate, which is held in place by magnets.

The CAVITY model is installed at the side of the suspended ceiling. This ceiling-mounted downlight has a simple cylindrical body that is recessed in a funnel shape towards the light source, ensuring a high level of glare control. As with SLICE² PI, the aluminum body is fixed to the ceiling with a bayonet catch and enables optimum heat transfer from the light source to the housing thanks to a spring-loaded surface contact. There is also a row of CAVITY in the outdoor area above the wide steps to the entrance, which are also fitted with a weather-resistant seal. This row provides inviting lighting for the entrance to this place of prayer and assembly.

______ is an innovation-minded manufacturer of luminaires with high demands on design that combines the latest lighting technology, serial production, craftsmanship and high-quality materials in its products. The company, based in Rodgau near Frankfurt am Main, was founded in the early 1980s by the two designers Manfred Wolf and Jean-Marc da Costa and has been jointly managed by them for 40 years. In addition to the permanent collections for private homes, offices, hotels and restaurants as well as social and cultural institutions, the design team also realises customised solutions for specific projects.

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