MOSCOW (RU) - Located inside the Kremlin, the Palace of Congresses was built in 1961 by a team of architects, headed by M. Posokhin, as a political-cultural centre for the communist party. The huge building contains over 800 rooms and the 6000-seat auditorium is one of the largest in Europe. In 1992 the building was renamed the State Kremlin Palace and functioned henceforth as a public building and concert hall.
After half a century, the large auditorium was in need of modernization. OTAKO studio was commissioned to update the building services and make the hall suitable for multifunctional use. Because the architects were keen to preserve as much of the spatial structure of the auditorium as possible, they opted to integrate a LED-light installation with the (new) wall panelling. The vast lighting system, which encompasses all walls, creates a completely new, dynamic 'total experience'. In addition, the computer-controlled system delivers the required multi-functionality. Sound-absorbing panels were installed behind the perforated wall panels to improve the hall's acoustics.
There is nothing particularly new about this lighting concept; similar systems are to be found in countless new theatres. Where it differs from projects like Amsterdam's Muziekgebouw and the Danish Radio Concert Hall in Copenhagen is the enormous scale: with 241,664 DMX channels controlling the colour and light intensity of the LEDs, this is one of the biggest LED control projects in the world. (Kirsten Hannema)