Colouring the Brandenburg Gate

Panasonic PT-DZ21K shines at the Berlin Festival of Lights 2012

Four units of PT-DZ21K were used to make a vibrant 3D Video mapping on the famous Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. Technologies used were the geometric adjustment feature as well as the masking function. The installation was the cornerstone of this years Festival of Lights, a 2-week outdoor event, with illuminations on landmark buildings in Berlin.


Berlins most famous landmark, the Brandenburg Gate, has been an icon throughout the ages. Erected 1871 to express Berlins pride and power, it became THE symbol of Germanys partition after the Second World War. Once designed as a gate for people to enter the heart of the city, it was then blocked by the Berlin wall, marking more than 40 years of separation and isolation of East & West Germany.

In 1989 things changed again and the population of both German parts tore down the wall and celebrated a peaceful revolution at the Brandenburg Gate which finally paved the way to the re-unification of Germany as one country.

In October 2012 the people of Berlin and visitors from all over the world could catch a glimpse of Brandenburg Gate which was exciting and new. Bright and colourful video art made by the people of Berlin, for the people of Berlin was designed specifically for the 2012 Festival of Lights.

The Berlin Festival of Lights was founded in 2005 by the Berlin-born Birgit Zander, head of the event marketing agency Zander & Partner. From there it developed into one of the biggest and best known public illumination festivals. It takes place each year in October, where for 12 consecutive nights, Berlin's world famous landmarks, cultural monuments, historical buildings, streets and other locations become transformed through light, projections and events. Extraordinary illuminations, light projections and light objects are presented by many local and international lighting artists. Working with light is still an emerging form of artistic and cultural expression, and the Festival of Lights offers a unique platform for visual artists. The Festival of Lights is organized and led by Birgit Zander. "Light is life, light is energy, light is able to speak all languages of the world and light connects people", said the native Berliner. Birgit Zanders goal was to take the theme of "Light" and establish a world-renowned international public event for her hometown of Berlin - one that would transform the city itself into a stage, making its landmarks and buildings the stars of the show, drawing people from all over the world.

The Festival of Lights has become a magnet for the tourism industry as well as a significant economic factor. Throughoutthe entire festival period, there are 600.000 overnight bookings (reference: visitBerlin) and around 2 million guests to the city.

For this year the installation at the Brandenburg Gate was developed into the flagship attraction of the festival. Zander & Partner with its technical director of the festival, Gunter Birnbaum, developed and produced a stunning 3D video mapping application where four high brightness projectors are shooting their light to the front side of the Brandenburg Gate from the Pariser Platz. The concept phase for the development started in February. The Berlin Society for Residential Building, as a host for this location during the festival, wanted an installation which reflected the variety and history of Berlins residential architecture. Birnbaum developed a content which included actual video footage (instead of CGI), that was shot during a 2 month production period.

To illuminate a surface of the size of the Brandenburg Gate, even at night, requires a strong and bright projection technology. At the same time the complex shape of the building with it's multiple steps and corners does not provide an even projection surface, so that the projection content requires geometric adjustment. "The Panasonic PT-DZ21K projector looked the ideal projector for this" said Gunter Birnbaum, "a projector with 20.000 Lumen brightness and onboard geometric adjustment was exactly what we needed. Additionally with its compact size, low weight and 16A standard power supply it that eased the setup and handling tremendously."

With the innovative four-lamp system the projector provided a high failure safety. This was seen as essential for an installation with such a strong exposure. The Berlin based rental company TST GmbH served as the equipment supplier to the festival and as that installed four PT-DZ21K in front of the Brandenburg Gate, connected to a media server with AV Stumpfl Wings Platinum and managed this installation throughout the festival period. Resulting in one of the most stunning and eye-catching installations at 2012 Berlin Festival of Lights, Panasonic PT-DZ21K proved once again it's superior performance in the events sector, creating a new visual experience at the Brandenburg Gate.

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Find out more about the PT-DZ21K here