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GIRA: High lights

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[SPONSORED FEATURE] Gira technology works behind the scenes to provide the highly adaptable control needed in a museum setting

The Kronplatz mountain in South Tyrol, Italy, is home to the sixth and latest Messner Mountain Museum. Designed by Zaha Hadid, the building nestles near the edge of the summit plateau, appearing as four openings protruding from it like telescopes. One of these openings is the museum’s entrance, while the large windows of the others offer unique views of the surrounding mountains. The fluid design by Zaha Hadid continues on the inside, flowing from the entrance towards the panoramic windows situated on a lower level. Dark grey in-situ concrete dominates the building’s mostly underground interior, the corridors resembling the twists and turns of a mountain path or a cave. The flush-mounted Gira E22 stainless-steel switch range harmonises well with this rough ambience.

The museum is dedicated to traditional mountaineering, the supreme discipline of the Alps. Among the exhibits are crampons, climbing shoes and paintings, while a small cinema has a documentary on show.

A total of 110 lights and long LED lighting strips, which follow the curved line of the roof downwards, serve to highlight the spaces and exhibits. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, all the light sources are connected in a KNX system with a Gira HomeServer as its intelligent central control unit.

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‘The lighting can be adjusted precisely to the current exhibition, enabling the staff to activate settings at the push of a button’

Both the project planning and tender process for the building technology were handled by Georg Mutschlechner’s Studio GM in St Vigil, and the technology was later installed by the Bruneck-based company Elpo. An impressive array of 65 classic spotlights, 45 recessed and surface-mounted LED spotlights as well as 330 metres of LED lighting strips are all integrated into a DALI Gateway, making them individually dimmable. Within this system, the lighting can be adjusted incredibly precisely to the current exhibition, enabling the staff to activate the setting at the push of a button.

In the event of alterations or additional exhibits, the light scene can be easily and quickly changed and saved via remote access or by a technician on site.

One of these ‘scenes’ – ‘Cleaning Light’ – sets the lights to full brightness for cleaning and maintenance work. When the staff arrive in the morning, they can first turn on the lighting in full by pressing a button on the Gira Control 9 Client touch panel in the entrance area.

When the museum opens to the public around one hour later, an employee simply activates the ‘Museum Operations’ scene, returning the lights to the appropriate levels for the current exhibition. The Gira Control 9 Client also shows whether heating and ventilation are running and displays the current temperatures inside the museum.

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Gira advetorial jpg

 ‘At the end of the day all lights in the museum can be switched off with just one click’

During opening hours the lights are activated throughout the building – after this the Gira automatic control switch registers if people are present and switch on the lights only where needed.

Films in the cinema can either be started from the Gira interface behind the till or, during events, via a push-button sensor in the cinema itself. Normally a documentary is screened on a continuous loop, but it is also possible to start several one after another. Once a film has started, lighting is dimmed accordingly.

The call system in the disabled toilets was also implemented using the same Gira E22 switch range. In case of an emergency, a call can be placed via the Gira wireless emergency set which registers on the touchpad behind the till. In addition, a red signal light in front of the toilet signals the emergency call. Other alarms, for example for heating, ventilation or RCD protection, are also displayed and redirected straight to the electrical company after hours. Especially practical for the staff: at the end of the day the whole museum can be switched off with just one click – the lights are turned off everywhere and the projector in the cinema is switched off.