Gigantic Steel Robot Becomes German Landmark With GKD Transparent LED Facade
Inden, Germany currently has a large open cast brown coal mine. The mine spans 4,500 hectares, yet excavation will end in 2030 when the unusual landscape is transformed into the ‘Der Indeische See,’ a large sporting venue. The city commissioned Maurer United Architects (MUA) to create a watchtower with a landmark design in that location. For this, MUA created the Indemann (the man of the town of Inden), a 118-foot robot that the architects explain, “The Indemann’s design is characterized by its striking external appearance, but the real surprise lies in the staged experiences that the visitors can expect in its interior.”
The steel construction was engineered by Arup Group, utilizing 280 tons of structural steel. With great emphasis on the public’s experience, the architects designed an interactive interior with an accessible grid layout. The design allowed the architects to portray the evolution of the landscape stating, “It marks the transition from an industrial era to a media-based era.”
The project has 40,000 LED’s incorporated into it, making it the first LED façade of its kind in Europe. It’s the LEDs that transform the project into a signature lighthouse in the evening. This was achieved through the use of GKD’s transparent stainless steel mesh, Illumesh. Illumesh is an illuminated metal fabric created as a joint development with ag4 media. The angling of the LEDs, which cover an area of nearly 16,000 square feet, controls the span of illumination. Compared to conventional illumination systems, Illumesh offers higher resolution imagery, weather and temperature resistance, and excels as an Internet-operated, high-performance media surface.
The project leaders Marc and Nicole Maurer explain, “We started the Indemann project by writing a fairy tale that established the region’s profile. In the fairy tale the people finally built a monument for a giant, the Indemann, who they have helped physically, but mainly strategically, in the story. The fact that this watchtower has now been completed shows that fairy tales can become reality.”
Information and photography courtesy of Maurer United Architects