After 15 years in changing locations, the C/O Berlin Gallery has finally found a permanent home – in the Amerika Haus, once a U.S. cultural and information centre in Berlin. Designed by Bruno Grimmek, the structure was built in 1957 as part of the International Building Exhibition. C/O Berlin had found room in the old royal post office when it secured a lease for 21 years at its new venue and had permission to convert its facilities into a centre of photography under heritage conservation standards.
The reconstruction was handled by architectural firm mvprojekte as well as Petra and Paul Kahlfeldt. In scrupulous detail, the building was stripped of its old fabric in order to restore its original sight lines and give the rooms a more open and spacious appearance.
C/O Berlin had already used ERCO lighting tools in its previous exhibition rooms. While the track concept was transferred over to the Amerika Haus, the existing luminaires were replaced with new products featuring LED technology, as current requirements called for higher luminous efficacy, greater efficiency and a more compact luminaire design.
The decision was made to use Parscan with an output of 12W to 48W, depending on the ceiling height, and the full spectrum of light distributions, from narrow spot through to wallwash. Interchangeable Spherolit lenses ensure flexible adjustment of the luminaires to suit the requirements of each exhibition – be it accent lighting or uniform wall illumination. Circulation areas were additionally provided with Quintessence recessed luminaires. In a shallow design, the luminaires integrate unobtrusively into the expansive, yet rather low-ceilinged architecture to direct the focus onto the diverse photo motifs using precise accent light.
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