Architectural lighting firm Magic Monkey and system integrator NetherLED recently collaborated to illuminate Deutsche Bank’s Belgian headquarters in uptown Brussels with an animated display powered by Martin Exterior Wash outdoor LED lighting fixtures.
Located at the corner of a high-traffic intersection in Brussels’ uptown district, the nine-story building designed by architect Maurice de Maet features three street-facing façades lined with 59 columns.
To make the building stand out during the holiday season as well as the rest of the year, Deutsche Bank hired Magic Monkey and NetherLED to design and install a state-of-the-art architectural lighting solution.
Magic Monkey and NetherLED selected Martin Exterior Wash 100 and 200 outdoor-rated RGBW color mixing wash lights to provide illumination, control and all-weather reliabililty.
“Our goal with this project was twofold: to highlight the architecture and carry the Deutsche Bank brand in an elegant way,” said Marc Largent, managing director at Magic Monkey.
“This building had a few logical elements to highlight, and one of the design options we submitted was basically a vertical highlight of the existing columns of the building around the three facades,” he said.
“We’ve transformed the building into a dynamic, animated ‘harp’ on a nightly basis. It’s a very subtle animation, but it’s like a living, breathing building. During special occasions and events, it becomes even more dynamic to participate in the city celebrations,” said Largent.
Magic Monkey chose Martin Exterior Wash 200 fixtures to illuminate the majority of the building, with Martin Exterior Wash 100 fixtures highlighting the top two stories. Specializing in narrow-beam applications, the Exterior Wash fixtures deliver up to 1,800 lumens focused into 7.5-degree vertical beams.
Magic Monkey’s design includes the Exterior Wash Series’ optional snoot to conceal the light source, making the beams appear part of the structure. DMX control enabled Magic Monkey to easily program the lights to “strum” like a harp, in addition to other special effects for holidays and events.
How Magic Monkey Helped Deutsche Bank
With a weather-resistant IP66-rated housing, the Exterior Wash fixtures endure the elements year-round.
“The light quality was very good, and the optics were great,” said Largent. “The control was very subtle, which is important for us, and the fact that they are RGBW fixtures offers us a great choice of colors.
They are also very solid fixtures, and they’ve withstood weather and time in different locations around the world. Being specialized in exterior lighting, it’s important to us that our installations last a long time and keep that high level of light output and control,” he said.
Initially, Deutsche Bank wasn’t sure it would be possible to complete a permanent installation in time for the holiday season and asked Magic Monkey to propose a temporary option as a fallback.
However, working closely with Magic Monkey and NetherLED, Martin was able to source and deliver the required fixtures in time for a permanent installation.
“When Deutsche Bank called us wanting to light up their building for the Christmas holiday period, they asked us for two options,” said Largent. “One to see what it would entail to design something temporary and one to design something permanent, with prediction that they would not be able to roll out a permanent installation by the Christmas period.
“We were able to pull the fixtures in from different locations around the world, have them shipped to Belgium and install them in time for the Christmas holiday. Deutsche Bank was able to launch their permanent lighting project for Christmas, which is now installed all year ’round,” he said.