In September 2018, a themed light show on the external façade of Cologne Cathedral was permitted and realized for the first time in its history. Westermann Cultural Projects developed a scenography, on appointment by the Metropolitan Chapter of Cologne Cathedral, that was to combine a reminder of the First World War with the current topic of social cohesion. Cologne Cathedral was to be a “beacon of peace” and invite all people who wish to contribute to peace. The result was an emotive staging that incorporated both the façade of Cologne Cathedral and Roncalliplatz.
The design of the façade projection was taken on by the media artists Detlef Hartung and Georg Trenz, who work exclusively with moving typography. For the Cologne light show, they found word pictures for the yearning for peace, based on the shock experiences of the First World War. The moving image projection reached as far as the spire at a height of 515 feet and spanned its entire width. It was accompanied musically by extracts from the Requiem by Luigi Cherubini and the Mass in B Minor by J.S.Bach.
Word sculptures on the square Roncalliplatz took up the theme of peace in twelve different languages. As a gathering place for peace lights, they were intended to supplement the projection and enhance the experience for the visitors. This resulted in an atmospheric and emotional overall experience comprising projected and natural lights, which drewaround 150,000 people over five days. Special technical challenges were presented not only by the scale of the projection but also the different stone materials and large gaps between the buttresses and the actual façade of the church nave.