Robe T2s are BIG LOVE for BMW and MINI Stands at IAA

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Over 300 Robe moving lights were used for stylish illumination of the BMW and MINI stands at the IAA Mobility Summit 2021 expo, staged at Munich Messe.

This is arguably the largest installation of Robe’s recently launched T2 range to date, with 126 x T2 Profiles and 30 x T2 Fresnels prominent in the lighting scheme created by Micha Becker from TLD Planungsgruppe, responsible for project managing and co-ordinating the technical design and build of both booths.

These T2s were joined by 72 x Robe Tarrantula Smart White LED wash beams and 22 x Tarrantula RGBWs, 44 x LEDBeam 350s, 24 x LEDBeam 150s and six T2 FollowSpots working in conjunction with two RoboSpot BaseStations. The lights were supplied and rigged via BMW’s stand builders, Leyendecker.

It was the first time that BMW’s stand has been lit with a fully automated LED lighting rig, and the first time the fixtures have been all Robe, a decision driven by the need for creativity, flexibility, and sustainability.

On the last point, Micha has calculated that they were able to save 5 tons of CO2 by using the T2s!

Micha explained that the current stand aesthetic was evolved by BMW’s event team and based on the development of a more dynamic general look for their car show booths with varying colour temperatures to reveal the shadows, contours, and nuances of the vehicles. This together with highlighting subtitles of the vehicle’s colouring to add depth and dimension is a departure from the classical flat, clinical lighting often seen at automotive shows.

It demands a different and more holistic approach to lighting design to achieve the desired results, so Micha needed a primary fixture with a high CRI, plenty of punch and numerous features.

“The high CRI and variable colour temperatures – without any reduction in output – of the T2 range made it the ideal choice,” stated Micha, adding that he thinks the T2 is an “absolute game-changer on this front”.

For the adjacent MINI stand, the look also involved lighting the cars using different colour temperatures, evoking a completely different and more theatrical mood to capture the joie de vivre and vibrant, funky, youthful MINI lifestyle impression.

The lighting fixtures were hung at varying heights on trussing grids flown in the roof of Hall A.

A rig full of LED moving lights also dramatically reduced on the amount of power needed and the time required on site for the overall stand build / rig, so lighting this expo was a completely different experience to the last time this BMW stand concept had been presented in 2019 and early 2020.

With most expos in 2020 cancelled due to the pandemic, when BMW and TLD started planning this next 2021 IAA in Munich, they looked at the newest lighting technology available which had moved on considerably in that relatively short period.

They seized the chance to go with Robe for a more carbon-conscious, lighter weight and quicker to install rig that was also less labour intensive and more economically efficient.

The BMW stand occupied the full width of one end of Hall A at the Munich Messe, with the MINI booth off to the left-hand side.

The main BMW set wall façade included integral LED strips and was lit with a 3000ºK wash – created utilising smart white Tarrantulas fitted with beam shapers, while the CT of the individual cars around the booth varied between 3000 / 4000 going up to 5000 / 6000, finessed according to the colour and surroundings.

In addition to reproducing these white ranges beautifully, Micha notes the T2 range is “fantastic” for all colours on the spectrum and that it works exceptionally well in tandem with the Tarrantulas.

Colour continuity across all Robe’s fixtures is an aspect that has been thought-through and fine-tuned.

A combination of T2 Profiles and the RGBW Tarrantulas lit the 4-minute timecoded AR show in BMW’s ‘Experience Room’, detailing the latest iDrive in-car communications and entertainment system.

The six T2s on the RoboSpot systems and the LEDBeam 350s were rigged on additional trusses as extras for the press days, used for presentations, speeches and other on-stand special events, including a visit by German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

The LEDBeam 150s were utilised in the bar at the back of the stand, lighting the serving area and washing up a colourful graphics wall opposite. At some shows, there is a stage in this lively and busy space, so the little LEDBeam 150 with its small unobtrusive size and great brightness is also ideal for lighting performers, DJs, and other action.

With BMW emphasising the qualities of smooth, slick, high-tech business-like road travel, MINI shouted out the same quality with an alternative splash of fun-loving atmosphere.

At the heart of MINI’s space was a large multicoloured “BIG LOVE” hand painted mural by London-based artist Lakwena Maciver, recreating part of a similar work produced for the ‘Sugar Mountain’ project which is regenerating a former concrete factory in Munich’s Obersendling district which also ran for the duration of the expo. Lakwena, acclaimed for her bold and striking work, is passionate about making art more accessible to all.

The lighting treatment for this art was key to enhancing its prominence and setting the scene for the whole MINI stand, together with a loft apartment, urban warehouse feel involving lots of metal structural beams and double decked areas including a VIP lounge which looked visually stimulating and interesting.

Once again, the Robe T2 Profile proved a fantastic tool, with the high CRI and accurate shuttering making the ‘BIG LOVE’ truly pop and draw people to the stand.

With other props and décor items around the various MINI vehicles and numerous architectural lighting specials, the challenge was to ensure the focus remained on the cars and that these were imaginatively lit from all angles.

Micha worked closely with the BMW team on plenty of mock-up models, renders and visualisations generated before they arrived on site. Micha remarks that he enjoys working with BMW as they are open to new ideas, technology and innovative approaches, and embrace pushing boundaries to make their world-class product presentations truly stand out.

Micha’s lighting crew included main operator for IAA Munich Summit’s press launch, Andreas Mertens, and BMW & MINI booth programming operator Markus Buck. Leyendecker’s production manager was Uli Spittmann and their technical manager and lighting systems tech was Carsten Schmidt.

Photo Credit: Louise Stickland

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