Designed as a symbol of the structural-political evolution of a former mining district, the 118-foot (36-meter) Indemann Observation Tower in Inden, Germany serves as a visual representation of progressive planning for the future. Made from 270 tons of steel, the Indemann features a semitransparent skin made of Illumesh®, a stainless steel mesh with interwoven LED profiles patented by GKD – Gebr. Kufferath AG, Dueren and ag4 media façade GmbH, Cologne.
Located next to the A4, one of Europe’s busiest motorways, the Indemann is a popular tourist attraction featuring three observation decks that provide visitors with breathtaking views of the region. Maastricht architecture firm, Maurer United Architects, designed the sculpture to resemble a primitive robot extending its arm to point out the area’s evolving landscape.
Clad in approximately 15,822 square feet (1,470 square meters) of Illumesh, the metallic surface of the structure shimmers during the day, while the reflectivity of the woven stainless steel skin dissolves the Indemann’s strict geometric silhouette, blending it into the surrounding landscape. At night a spectacular computer controlled light show comes to life as vast light and color compositions are projected onto the shimmering material by 256 LED heads positioned in front of the stainless steel mesh. The intensive colors reflecting off the round stainless steel wires create the impression of a three-dimensional hologram. With over 40,000 LEDs, each of which can be separately controlled by computer, the illuminated Indemann symbolizes a bright future. Organic and geometric shapes form the focal point of the media projection. The medialized system has received awards, which have recognized the project’s long-term benefits including minimal maintenance and power consumption.
GKD offers an exceptional collection of woven metal fabrics designed, engineered and manufactured specifically for the architecture community. Its Illumesh system not only provides advanced graphic image resolution, but also low maintenance operation. The mesh itself is resistant to weathering and temperature, helping prolong its life. In addition, the mesh functions as sun protection or climate membrane and has an attractive transparency – making it suitable for a wide range of applications.
About ag4 media façade GmbH, Cologne
As an owner-managed company, ag4 bundles the expertise of its own architects and media specialists in the discipline of “mediatecture” – invented by ag4 itself. In collaboration with experts for multimedia, urban planning and communications, ag4 develops integrated solutions for media facades. Renowned reference projects speak for the company’s integrated competence.
Photographs © GKD/ ag4