Marketplace Light Planning of the Old Cotton Mill in Flöha, Saxony, Germany

Marketplace Light Planning of the Old Cotton Mill in Flöha, Saxony, Germany
Construction begins Autumn 2023.

Flöha’s “Old Cotton” is a historical landmark that has played a significant role in shaping the region’s identity and economy for over two centuries. Established in 1809 during Napoleon’s time, the spinning mill evolved into one of Germany’s largest and most modern factories by the late 19th century. Although production ceased in 1994, the city of Flöha recognized the cultural and economic value of the brownfield site and launched the “City Center” project in 2001 to revitalize the area.

The name “Old Cotton” represents the rich legacy of Saxony’s oldest spinning mills, which operated continuously for an extended period. The Heritage Quarter holds a special place in the city’s history, and the iconic industrial architecture of the old cotton mills continues to define Flöha’s identity and image.

Moreover, the entire area, including the adjacent park and the industrialist’s villa “Immenhof,” enjoys monument protection. To support the city’s vision of developing the heritage buildings quarter of the old cotton mills as the new city center and market square, Ruairí O’Brien.Lichtdesign has created a unique lighting concept. This concept accentuates the beauty of the site and complements Flöha’s ambitious plans to create a vibrant cultural hub in the heart of the city.

Client: Stadt Flöha
Landscape architecture: Lohaus · Carl · Köhlmos Part GmbB landscape architects · urban planners
Lighting design: Ruairí O’Brien . Lighting Design

Lighting Concept of St. Joseph Church Dresden

Lighting Concept of St. Josef Church Dresden

Reconstruction and extension of St. Joseph parish center Dresden-Pieschen

The building is the first reinforced concrete church of the Art Nouveau style in Dresden. The church was extensively rebuilt from 1970 to 1978 (architect Hubert Paul). The sculptural work was carried out by Friedrich Press.

The current reconstruction includes the ground floor and the 1st and 2nd floor in the east part of the church building.
The lighting concept links the various areas and uses of the community center, which is spread over three floors, with a common lighting language that enhances the architectural spaces and supports their flexible use by the community with energy-efficient lighting technologies.
The unique lighting fixtures and created “light” spaces provide diverse lighting scenarios that support the community in conducting secular and church activities, civic meetings and public and private events.

Planning areas:

  • Ground Floor: Meeting space, chapel / weekday chapel
  • 1st Floor: Conference rooms / seminar rooms / group rooms for music
  • 2nd Floor: Great hall under the historical vault

Client: Catholic Parish of St. Martin, Dresden

Architect: Matthias Klut Dipl.-Ing. Freier Architekt

Lighting planning/ Lighting design: Ruairí O’Brien . Lichtdesign

Completion: Spring 2023

Old Cotton Mill in Floeha

Old Cotton Mill in Floeha

Lighting Concept for the old cotton mill in Floeha

Light towers project receives recognition award for the competition “Ab in die Mitte! Die City-Offensive Sachsen” 2022

Under the motto “Creative out of the crisis – rethinking the city center”, 34 project ideas for the revitalization of city centers were submitted by 33 municipalities. The award ceremony will take place at the Denkmal trade fair in Leipzig on 25.11.2022.

Ruairí O’Brien . Lichtdesign is developing the lighting concept for the old cotton mill in the city of Floeha and is accompanying the lighting design development of the new city center within the old cotton mill and its new marketplace. The project “Light towers” of the city of Floeha, which was created according to our lighting concept, received a recognition award worth 5,000 euros. Head of the building department Andre Stefan accepted the congratulations and the certificate from State Secretary Thomas Kralinski (SMWA).

Floeha’s project idea involves the interior lighting of the three towers on the “new building” by installing resource-saving LED lights. It is intended to be the first building block for the implementation of accent lighting and to contribute to making the cubature of the largest building complex in the old cotton mill appear in an intelligently timed manner in the early evening hours in order to lend the future center more attention as well as quality of stay and experience.

Here you can see our visualization of the competition entry “Light towers” of the city of Floeha 2022.

AMD / Xilinx Dresden, Offices and Laboratories

Office and Laboratory Cpace Xilinx Dresden / Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)

Interior design, color concept, lighting design

Fertigstellung der neuen Räumlichkeiten der Dresdner Niederlassung von AMD entsprechend dem Konzept für Licht und Farbe von Ruairí O’Brien.


  • Light for office spaces
  • Light for representative areas / reception area / reception desk
  • Light for conference / meeting rooms (telephone rooms, micro-meeting rooms)
  • Light for laboratory and development rooms / server rooms
  • Light for social areas (break rooms, kitchenettes, communication corners, bathrooms/toilets)
  • Traffic areas / corridors

With its simple and individually controllable lighting, our interior design and lighting concept supports the use of rooms with flexible use, e.g. in the work café, where individual work, all-hands meetings, group and team work or festive get-togethers take place.
A lighting concept for today’s modern working environments, tailored to the individual requirements of the individual areas as an ideal combination of standard-compliant lighting and discreet lighting design for a sense of well-being at the place of work. For a working environment that offers ideal working conditions and is a pleasure to spend time in.

Location: Annenhöfe Dresden, Germany (2022)
Architect: O+M Architekten GmbH BDA
Services: Interior design / color concept / lighting design
Client: Xilinx Dresden GmbH / Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)
Photos: Baldauf&Baldauf

Light concept concentration camp memorial Mittelbau Dora

Lighting concept for the Mittelbau Dora concentration camp memorial site

ZRedesign of the didactic development of the tunnel complex

Competition entry, 3rd place

The lighting concept is an essential part of the competition entry “Points and Lines”, which consists of two elements: points of information and lines of light for the paths in between. This concept includes the didactic idea that the line of light guides the visitors and the info pillars (points) mark the individual stations.
The info pillars are light sculptures that represent gathering points where the visitors are explained the story during guided tours.
The guiding lines of light lead to these information points, provide the power supply and at the same time ensure an optimal illumination of the space.

The design of the information modules as well as the lighting differs clearly from the original environment and thus conveys a distance to the original historic gallery. The historical rooms are seen in the light of today, the self-sufficient exhibition elements exhibit the entire surrounding space.

We are pleased that our light-oriented exhibition concept could achieve a very good third place in this competition with numerous renowned participants.

You can find the overall concept in detail here.

Meeting Rooms / Conference and Communication Areas AMD Dresden

AMD / Xilinx, Annenhoefe Dresden

Meeting Rooms / Conference and Communication Areas

Completion of the new premises of the Dresden branch of AMD according to the concept for light and color by Ruairí O’Brien.
Location: Annenhöfe Dresden, Germany (2022)
Architect: O+M Architekten GmbH BDA
Services: Interior design / color concept / lighting design
Client: Xilinx Dresden GmbH / Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD)
Photos: Baldauf&Baldauf

Unterwegs im Licht 2022, Potsdam

On the way in light, Postdam

„Soundless Music”

On 3rd Weekend in 2022, from 21st to 24th of January, our “Soundless Music” LIGHT concept was presented in the City of Potsdam.

Starting Friday and ending Monday we had developed a lighting concept that set the city each evening in a color composition that expresses in “Soundless Music” the universal process of THERMODYNAMICS.

Beginning with BLUES on Friday and ending with the REDS on Monday, the LIGHT composition created for the city center worked with 18 buildings, each with 24 light scenarios that harmonize and play off each other to generate an immersive walk through “Gesamtkunstwerk” of public space, architecture, light and time.

Starting Friday, the Beauty of the COLD Winter months was celebrated in Serene BLUES and INDIGOS, which gave way to the Optimistic Greens of Spring on Saturday and were followed on Sunday by the WARM Summer Joy of Yellows and Oranges, the dynamic process closes on Monday with the Thoughtful setting of dark Reds partnered by the full color spectrum.

“Wir haben Euch nicht vergessen” / “We haven’t forgotten you”.

In these difficult times and with this LIGHT ART action, the City of Potsdam communicated to its citizens and their cultural institutions that they had not forgotten the importance of CULTURE in the City and the importance of all who work in the cultural scene.

WE celebrated for all the beauty of life and art in (Licht) Culture this weekend.    

The LIGHT composition  was realized by:

City of Potsdam (organizer), P3 Projekt GmbH (organization), Ruairí O’Brien . Lichtdesign (lighting concept), TLT Event AG (technical implementation)


Unterwegs im Licht. Aber sicher! – Potsdam Marketing und Service GmbH (



RUAIRÍ O’BRIEN. LICHTDESIGN. is a company of the architect and lighting designer Ruairí O’Brien, especially in the field of lighting design. One of its main focuses are concepts for interior design with light and color and the lighting of public places, streets, buildings and facades.

The services of RUAIRÍ O’BRIEN. LICHTDESIGN. include all facets of lighting design, from “phase zero”, through concept/design to realization. In addition, RUAIRÍ O’BRIEN. LICHTDESIGN. is also active in an advisory capacity for clients, architects, landscape architects or specialist planners.

Ruairí O’Brien studied architecture and lighting at universities in London, Edinburgh and New York and worked for various architectural firms in England, the USA and Germany before founding his own practice in Dresden in 1995
In 1995 he founded his own lighting design company Archevolucio Lighting Design Ltd. in London and Dresden. 2016 renamed RUAIRÍ O’BRIEN. LIGHT DESIGN.

O’Brien’s interdisciplinary work spans a broad spectrum: outdoor and indoor lighting for both private and public buildings. The illumination of marketplaces and public spaces, the development of lighting master plans and master plans, sustainable lighting concepts for the built environment, and unique lighting installations.

Ruairí O’Brien’s work in lighting design combines technology and design, science and art in theory and practice. To achieve special quality, technological understanding meets extensive knowledge and many years of experience in the fields of light, architecture and art. The resulting innovative solutions are energy-conscious, in keeping with today’s technology as well as the spirit of the times, yet always possess great respect for the cultural and heritage of the past.

Ruairí O’Brien has also worked on a variety of innovative light and light art projects, sculptures and installations. In 2003 he founded the light poetry festival “Light and Word” in Dresden.

As holder of an adjunct professorship in architecture and lighting at Wismar University of Applied Sciences, O’Brien was instrumental in establishing the international master’s program in Architectural Lighting Design (the first of its kind in Europe) as coordinator and helped the program achieve full accreditation in 2005. O’Brien regularly teaches at various universities in Germany and abroad, including the Czech Republic and Russia.

In 2014, Ruairí O’Brien founded the Mobile School of Lighting Design, a pioneering project that brings lighting design education and teaching to a global audience in an innovative and mobile way.

Ruairí OBrien is one of the founding members of the Federation of International Lighting Designers (FILD), established in 2014, and served on the board as vice president of the professional association until the end of 2018.

Since 2017, Ruairí O’Brien has been Associate Professor and Head of the Architecture and Visual Design Department at the German University in Cairo – GUC.
Memberships in Chambers and Associations: FILD (Federation of International Lighting Designers) MSLL (Society of Light and Lighting) LiTG (Deutsche Lichttechnische Gesellschaft e.V.) RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) AKS (Architektenkammer Sachsen), Board of Directors (2013 – 2017), Chairman Committee for Public Relations (2013 – 2017).

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Potsdam On the way in light

On the way in light, Postdam

Temporary event lighting Potsdamer Mitte

The images show excerpts from Ruairí O’Brien’s lighting composition for Potsdam Unterwegs im Licht 2020, featuring the Brandenburg State Parliament, Nikolaikirche Church and Filmmuseum Potsdam, among others. “With an authentic concept, high-quality technology and a selective choice, you can achieve more in lighting design. To create poetic and exciting lighting atmospheres, you have to understand how time, space, materials, darkness and light can be brought together and how they can be set against each other.” Ruairí O’Brien

Light concept Swanseaplatz Mannheim

Light concept Swanseaplatz Mannheim

Entry in the competition for the redesign of Swansea Square

Together with Huttereimann Landscape Architecture

Lighting scenes

  1. Early night hours (lighting plan at the top): full lighting level according to the programmed power as per the lighting concept.
  2. Late night hours (centre images): reduced, energy-saving lighting

By means of phase-controlled half-night switching (HNS), the luminaires are switched to reduced power operation (reduced luminous flux) during the night. This ensures a minimum lighting level to guarantee safety and orientation on the square. In areas without use or individual luminaires that primarily serve spatial modelling and atmosphere (e.g. at the “Schaukelwäldchen”), the lighting can be switched off completely in consultation with the City of Mannheim. Even in the late half of the night, the path area remains illuminated in such a way that the standard-compliant illuminance is maintained. Optionally, intelligent dynamic lighting control with radio-networked luminaires can be used to make the lighting dependent on use. To prevent vandalism and increase cleanliness and safety, the lighting in the kindergarten area is controlled by presence detectors.

Early night atmosphere

The downward light prevents a boring and monotonous lighting atmosphere and creates a lively carpet of light with nuances of light and dark. The luminaires can also set accents, e.g. grazing light on tree trunks without scattered light into the night sky. The tree-like shape of the selected luminaires matches the park landscape.

Late night atmosphere

According to the use, rear park areas are darkened, the path remains illuminated. The square is in darkness and only the main path is fully illuminated, for safety when crossing and for orientation.


Reduced illuminance levels and directed light from above at small half-scatter angles maximally reduce unwanted stray light and prevent unnecessary light pollution. The warm light colour of the luminaires in the square creates a stimulating and calm atmosphere. In addition, this lighting offers the highest possible level of insect and bird protection due to its low blue component. For optimal colour recognition and improved facial recognition, to increase safety and the subjective feeling of security, the area of the passageway and the café is illuminated with 3,000 K.