Over the years, Berlin has been responsible for more lights and lanterns than any other city. In 1882, the first permanent electric street lights in the world were erected in Berlin.
With the city in the midst of a phase where, due to its role both presently and historically, it is seen as a major centre for innovation and reconstruction in street lighting and other fields, sensibility for the city’s historical landscape and responsibility for projects affecting its urban space in the future go hand-in-hand.
Since the 1980s, Selux has been developing both faithful reconstructions of historic lanterns (from both East and West Berlin) and new designs, which have critically transformed the ideas inherent in historic models into creative, contemporary styles. In developing replicas of the original lanterns, care was taken at all times to ensure these looked both historically authentic and met the high demands of modern lighting technology.
Proof that historical reconstructions of electric and gas lanterns remain a relevant consideration for the landscape can be seen from the Hardenberg lanterns on the Kurfürstendamm and the Witzleben lanterns in Kreuzberg and the area around the Schloss Charlottenburg. Since 1998, Schupmann lanterns can once again be found lighting up the area in front of the Brandenburg Gate and Berlin’s grand boulevard. More recently we have been commissioned to produce LED replicas for Amsterdam old town’s Gratchen lanterns. As we are driven to achieve circular economics, we anticipate that the demand for reconstructions of this type can only increase.
Selux’ light museum hosts a large number of original historical luminaries from the period 1850 – 1914 as well as the classical replica lanterns produced by Selux. The virtual tour also includes an icon of industrial design — Peter Behrens’ magnificent economy arc lamp (Sparbogenlampe – 1907) and a demonstration of a fully functioning 120 year old arc lamp.
To find out more about the development of electric and gas lighting based on its historical application in Berlin and have a virtual tour of Selux light museum, join us at the webinar Street Lighting Through History on 10 August, at 11 am. Click here to find out more and book.
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