One of the oldest cathedrals in Europe, Aachen Cathedral (Der Dom) celebrated 40 years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with nine evenings of architectural projection mapping that traced the history of the famed church. Christoph Hillen of bendedPix in Aachen, Germany did the conceptual design, animation and pixel mapping for the project using the disguise pro range to playback and map images onto the façade of Der Dom.
The projection mapping told the story of the cathedral, which was founded by Charlemagne in the eighth century and serves as his burial place. Images outlined the original structure of the building and followed the evolution of Der Dom over 1200 years depicting such notable events as the Fire of Aachen in 1656, where video flames raced up the sides of the church, and the heavy damage incurred during World War II with air raid siren sound effects. Images of the Holy Roman emperors and real photos of the destruction of war were projected onto Der Dom as video mapping traced rebuilding efforts over the centuries and the cathedral’s rebirth as we see it today. The architectural projection mapping was shown for nine evenings for over 40,000 spectators.
“Our goal was to tell the story of the building, its meaning and importance to history and people from the past until now,” says Hillen. “We tried to avoid showing the usual mapping effects; instead, every scene has a detailed depiction of one story of the building.”
Christoph chose a disguise 4x4pro media server, loaded quad-DVI VFC cards drove 14 Christie Boxer 4K30 projectors. “disguise had the capability to drive all the outputs, and its QuickCal feature could handle projector calibration on an extremely difficult surface,” he explains. “disguise also gave us a chance to review the design with VR support so we could see the critical 3D parts of the content from different views, which was very helpful.”
Andre Gross of Publitec installed the disguise system and projectors on site. Matthias Büsching of Power+Radach partnered on the conceptual design and Frank Stumvoll of FreshArt Music Productions composed the music.