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Schubert GmbH Uses ABB KNX Technology to Light up the Hamburg Elbe Philharmonic Hall

Hamburg’s iconic concert hall known as the Elbphilharmonie debuted earlier this year and now, when the curtain rises for concerts, atmospheric lighting is provided by ABB.

In addition to the cultural center, the building houses 45 luxury apartments, a five-star hotel, restaurants and bars as well as indoor parking. Between the brick-clad base of the building and the superstructure with its glassy exterior, there is a publicly accessible observation deck known as the Plaza on the 8th floor, 37 meters above the ground, which offers a view of downtown Hamburg, the Elbe, the HafenCity complex and the harbor.

The Elbphilharmonie consists of four independent projects – “Concert”, “Living”, “Parking” and “General Use”. The entire electrical and electronic infrastructure of the building is controlled via KNX systems. The company Schubert GmbH from Tangerhütte was awarded the contract for the electrical/electronic installations and selected ABB as the manufacturer based on good experience in the past.

The challenge was to integrate the lighting in these systems. To accomplish this, ABB used the digital addressable lighting interface (DALI) standard, which defines the digital interface for the control of lighting control devices. Up to 64 DALI devices can be assigned to an arbitrary KNX group and controlled via KNX. Approximately 110 DALI gateways from ABB are used in the concert area of the Elbphilharmonie alone. They control, for example, the lighting in the lobby and the concert halls, as well as the offices and rehearsal rooms. The lighting can be operated directly via keys or a variety of different lighting scenarios can be selected. DALI provides feedback about the status of the light fixtures and DALI ballasts, which can be analyzed and forwarded via KNX. Thus, the maintenance staff is always kept up-to- date with regard to the current status of the lighting system.

ABB technology is also used in the audio systems. The electroacoustic system in the artists’ areas, as well as the bell systems and performance signal displays that indicate the sound quality to the artists, the concert organizers and the listeners, produce their sounds using KNX products from ABB. Should you have been among the 1,000 happy visitors who won tickets for the opening night, you would not only have heard Beethoven and Wagner, performed through ABB technology, but also the announcements during the break.

And you needn’t worry in the event of an emergency: The roof ventilation flaps for smoke and heat extraction are also used for elevator shaft extraction and close automatically in the event of rain or wind. Emergency lighting signals use DALI lighting and malfunctions of the elevators and smoke protection curtains are immediately detected and recorded.

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