Meeting Heike Kiesling

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting Heike Kiesling, CEO of Innsbruck Marketing, to discuss an amazing feature coming to Innsbruck this holiday season. This year, starting on the 29th of December and going on until January 6th, four locations around the city will be illuminated with 3D facade mapping, brightening up the winter nights and taking everyone on an immersive, emotional and epic abstract display. This is part of the Bergsilvester Innsbruck, which includes various exciting attractions both just before and on New Year’s Eve. So take your time and a turn through Innsbruck. The Hofburg/Hofkirche, St. Jakob’s Cathedral, houses along Mariahilf and City Hall will be the backdrop to spectacular visuals. As Heike put it: “Light is so important.”

Proud to be Innsbruck

Sitting down with Heike, you could see her passion and excitement when talking about her plans for the city of Innsbruck, her enthusiasm for the city cannot be denied. She told me: “I want to have every single local here, loving the city, and being as proud of living in Innsbruck as I am.” That really resonated with me: looking out for the locals, as well as the tourists of Innsbruck, to ensure that everyone can enjoy everything that the city has to offer! Heike said: “My target is to combine it all, whatever events there are, they should be attractive for everybody.”

What is 3D Facade Mapping?

So, what is 3D facade mapping exactly, how does it work, what can the spectators expect? Heike explained: “3D facade mapping is a kind of projection on existing buildings. The architecture of the building is scanned by special technology, and these frames are taken as the screens which can be played with. So on these frames visual experiences are mapped on. Special LED lamps in these high performing projectors are responsible for a color and effect intensive show on the facades.”

Enriched & Elevated!

Some of you might be saying that facade mapping is nothing new ... Innsbruck has seen that before, but let me tell you, not like this! I asked how this year’s show differs from last years? Heike clarified: “We tried to enrich the content of the various shows on the facades. So we have 30 minutes on each facade with a storyboard which then repeats itself automatically. The visual story – on an abstract level – is accompanied by music supporting the emotional experience. One of the biggest challenges was 30 minutes on an abstract level not repeating the elements too much, having smooth transitions and keeping the level of dynamics and excitement at the same time, it is going to be very exciting.” In total there are four locations this year, the Hofburg/Hofkirche, St. Jakob’s Cathedral, houses along Mariahilf and City Hall. Oh, and of course it is 3D rather than 2D.

Smart Energy, No Concern

I, of course, wanted to know with all the public concern regarding energy use this year, how much power/energy does this mapping need? Is that a concern? Heike explained: “Our nine days of mapping uses 1.728 kilowatt hours in total. This is half of the energy amount an average household needs per year. Of course we also discussed this issue very much. But we see our responsibility also in giving the Innsbrucker and our guests something back – we want to offer special moments on our special places within the unique city of Innsbruck, and our purpose lies in doing this subtle, peaceful and in cooperation with the city and its architecture and its local and international and especially permanent guests!”

Light Up the Night!

Starting December 29th and going until January 6th, everyone can enjoy the show from 5pm to 10pm daily. It is, of course, free for everyone! I personally cannot wait for the opening day, talking with Heike, I’m definitely pumped to see the show.

Bergsilvester Innsbruck

Apart from the 3D facade mapping, the Bergsilvester Innsbruck includes several events and attractions for the whole family. On 30 December, children can enjoy the run-up to New Year’s Eve at the colourful Children’s New Year’s Eve event in the historic old town, which features great games, craft stands, a puppet show and a hands-on circus area with real acrobats. And on 31 December, the end of the year will be celebrated with a New Year’s Eve run through the city centre, live music in front of the Hofburg, an impressive fireworks display up at the Seegrube and finally New Year’s Eve clubbing at the Dogana.

More details can be found here.

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