Warsaw castle respects its history with LED light
The Royal Castle of Warsaw is an historic castle residency and national museum located in Castle Square at the entrance of Warsaw Poland's Old Town. Constructed in the 14th century, the Royal Castle housed Poland's medieval royals, the Dukes of Masovia, until the formation of the country's first commonwealth. The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth hosted parliament meetings at the castle during the 16th and 17th centuries, where its constitution was drafted. Bloody conflicts throughout Europe in subsequent years left several countries in possession of Poland's Royal Castle, including Russia and Germany. Throughout World War I, occupied Poland's German Governor-General resided at the Royal Castle. Restoration efforts at the Great War's end were thwarted by Nazi Germany forces, resulting in the castle being ransacked and burned to the ground during World War II and was rebuilt.
Currently, the Royal Castle is one of Warsaw's most celebrated landmarks and is recognized along with Old Town as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As a present-day national museum, the Royal Castle fascinates visitors with its Baroque architecture and rich history. In March 2012, the Royal Castle underwent a series of renovations in an effort to restore the manor's eastern wall to its medieval brilliance. Adding a touch of modernity, lighting designers sought to transform the castle's exterior by installing a superior lighting solution that would heighten the visual effects of the manor's majestic façade.
Preserving the façade's original color during renovation was of utmost importance because the Royal Castle's heritage conservator restricted the use of fixtures that would alter the manor's exterior. Lighting designers were tasked with ensuring that floodlighting would neither be visible to onlookers nor detract from the castle's iconic design.
With preservation guidelines in mind, Piotr Linca of Xeno Lighting drafted the project's lighting scheme with an emphasis on achieving the most aesthetically appealing illumination of the castle's exterior. Using high-quality energy saving luminaires specializing in lighting prominent monuments, Linca was able to illuminate the castle without tampering with any of its architecture. Xeno Lighting specified a Color Kinetics solution, deciding eW Graze Powercore luminaires were best for grazing the Royal Castle's façade in various color temperatures of white light.
eW Graze Powercore luminaires were connected to a Philips Dynalite control system, allowing for superb light distribution and the correct balance of contrasting light needed to replicate the Royal Castle's daytime appearance at nightfall. In-ground floodlights were also installed to illuminate the structure from below, guaranteeing that the lamps would not distract vehicles and visitors.
"Thanks to the new lighting the characteristic shape and architectural details are revealed at night, showing the beauty of the castle," said Professor Andrzej Rottermund, Director of the Royal Castle.
The Royal Castle revitalizes Old Town's nightscape with its almost magical glow, reflecting off Poland's largest river, the Vistula. The Castle's stately reputation is reinforced by the subtle placement of high-quality white light that accentuates previously unlit features of the monument such as miniature statues and an inscription adorning the central portion of the eastern wall's oval-shaped roof.
Energy consumption and maintenances costs have decreased 70% as a result of the luminaires. Now powered with innovative LED lighting solutions from Color Kinetics, the Royal Castle shines during the evening as an important cultural site and captivating tourist destination for all of Europe.