Phänomenta Lüdenscheid

City of Light

Bright and dark, natural and artificial, coloured and white – light as an omnipresent phenomenon in our world offers an ideal introduction to scientific contexts and technical applications. This is why we have adopted the slogan of Lüdenscheid as the “City of Light” and made light a central theme for the expansion of the Phänomenta Science Center.

A lighthouse as a new landmark

As an architectural highlight, the striking “lighthouse” rises 75 m into the sky. The slender, pyramid-shaped steel structure is surrounded by a weatherproof membrane which is illuminated from the inside. The tower has thus become a new landmark of the city both during the day and at night. Inside, however, the membrane and the complex double tubular steel skeleton protect primarily the Foucault pendulum, which can oscillate here unaffected by the weather and the tower’s vibrations.

The Foucault pendulum

With the change of day and night the light determines our rhythm of life. This change is caused by the rotation of the earth, which becomes visible with a Foucault pendulum: With each oscillation the orbit changes minimally, so that a 360° rotation takes place in the course of a little more than one day. We have designed a kaleidoscope as a suspension for the pendulum: a fascinating play of light unfolds in the inclined mirror walls.

A view into the tower shows the gallery of the upper floor and the 28 m long Foucault pendulum hanging from a kaleidoscope.
Our own spirit of research: We tested the lighting effect for the staging inside the tower on the model.

Phänomenta as a component of the think tank

Under the title “415 m above sea level – think tank” the project of a knowledge quarter was developed within the framework of the Regionale 2013 Südwestfalen. The aim is to awaken the spirit of research in children and young people, to inspire them with technical and scientific topics and possibly even to influence their choice of career. To this end, various institutions have joined forces.

We have prepared a concept and feasibility study for the expansion of the Phänomenta Science Centre and the establishment of a related technology centre, thus laying the foundations for subsidies. We then conceived and planned the Phänomenta until the completion of the draft planning. With its high experience value, it is an attractive magnet that especially appeals to young children and people with little technical knowledge. The Technology Centre, on the other hand, is an out-of-school learning location that offers a creative framework for deepening the contents. Both are adapted to the framework plans of different school types and class levels.

Coloured shadows with mirror pixels - blue, red, green - spotlights in the basic colours of the light beam onto a semitransparent projection surface that stands freely in the room. If the visitors stand in the light, their coloured half shadows appear on one side of the wall and a colourful pixel image appears on the other through numerous mirror rollers.
Playing with light - An electric motor turns a hanging rope, which is illuminated stroboscopically. Visitors can change the speed of the rope, the light and the colours to create fascinating light sculptures.
Tornado - A fog machine ignites a tornado: nozzles rotate the vortex and an exhaust fan pulls it upwards. A laser makes the flow patterns visible - just like in the weather forecast.
Island of light - Visitors can use various prisms, mirrors, filters and lenses to refract, bundle, divert and colour the light.
Basic electric motor - When the visitor presses the current collector onto the disc, the circuit closes and the disc begins to rotate. The basic principle of an electric motor becomes clear here.
Spectroscope - Visitors look through a rainbow foil at an energy-saving lamp, a halogen lamp and two gas discharge lamps with helium and neon. The optical grid of the foil breaks down the respective light into colour spectra.

Contact person

Bernhard Kehrer

Executive Management