House of History.

Light revitalizes.

More than 300 years of state history are vividly presented in the Haus der Geschichte Baden-Württemberg. The museum was opened in 2002 as Germany's first political-historical state museum. It is part of the postmodern Stirling-Wilford ensemble on Stuttgart's Kulturmeile, designed by architects James Stirling and Michael Wilford. More than 100,000 visitors a year venture into the past of the southwestern German state. History is not served up here on a platter, but has to be worked out for oneself. The spacious rooms are simple and unobtrusive. The viewer should be able to focus all his attention on the exhibits, posters, showcases, monitors and video installations. The museum's educational program appeals especially to young visitors. The mix of permanent exhibition and special shows offers a rich selection of topics.


Project: House of History.

Scope of services: Lighting concept, product supply.

Scope of application:
Education | Culture


Challenging and encouraging sensory perception.

The elaborate and impressive staging of history is what makes this museum on Konrad-Adenauer-Strasse so appealing. The past becomes tangible, up close and unvarnished. On a walk-through map, the contours of today's Baden-Württemberg emerge from a patchwork of 200 territories under Napoleon. The tour continues over a shaky ground of uncertain revolutionary times through dark phases of history to the current media age. Constant companion and important part of the staging: light. It is an essential factor in breathing life into the past and challenging visitors' senses. Modern lighting design with variable color accents and atmospheric light/dark contrasts challenge and enhance the sensory experience, create spaces for thought, and awaken and intensify emotions.

Designing with light

Thanks to modern control systems, lighting moods can be composed and special effects created: In addition to light color and light intensity, color rendering can also be controlled and varied depending on the intended use - an important requirement in museums, for example, to gently illuminate light-sensitive exhibits. So far, it has taken around four years to refresh and technically retrofit the old luminaires. The project is not yet complete. For the lighting is being revitalized not only in the Haus der Geschichte, but also in the Neue Musikhochschule and the Neue Staatsgalerie, also part of the Stirling-Wilford ensemble. Here, too, the colored light shows give the rooms a modern touch and magically attract people's gaze, especially in the evening. What's more, they accentuate the postmodern architecture of the building ensemble, which is a constant source of debate both outside and in because of its colorful and sometimes garish details.

What does it take to revitalize lighting?

Anyone who wants to modernize their lighting contacts our field service or a trade partner, who forwards the request to a project team. It will be clarified whether a complete replacement is advisable or whether revitalization is possible. The installation of new lighting fixtures is often the obvious, but not always the most sensible solution. Especially in listed buildings, the original lighting should or must be preserved. Modernization means an intervention in the substance and the appearance of the object. Often, retrofitting is accompanied by structural changes that could destroy the character originally desired by the architect or designer. In such cases, revitalization of the existing lighting is the better solution.

Project impressions