No. 6 Light in multi-genre cultural centers, Banská Bystrica (SK), 27.11. – 30. 11. 2014

No. 6 Light in multi-genre cultural centers
European School of Lighting Design:
Banská Bystrica (SK): 27th - 30th November of 2014


Light study of Záhrada – Centre of Independent Culture

The sixth workshop organized within the project European Lighting School, in partnership of three organizations: Anténa – a network for independent culture in Slovakia (SK), Institute of Lighting Design Prague (CZ) and Instituut Lichtontwerpen (NL) dealt with lighting solutions for the cultural centre Záhrada (Garden) of the present days, with creating and preparation of an optimal lighting design and implementation of parts of this design. Participants were not only representatives of these three organizations, but also others who are interested in Záhrada’s future.

Záhrada – Centre of Independent Culture is a nongovernmental organization that operated at first as an informal group of artists, cultural managers and volunteers. By moving to new spaces in the garden in the Beniczky passage (2010), they obtained the current name of the organization. In the present days, Záhrada is a meeting place for different people and communities.

The building is located in the historical part of the city and is used as a multifunctional theatre studio, concert hall, place for discussions, exhibitions, educational activities, workshops, community activities, café, outdoor activities – recreational area in the form of a city park.

The building of Záhrada offers many kinds of various programs.  The main issue is how to practically (technically) realize all the events with a respect to multifunctionality of the space while creating a pleasant and creative atmosphere.  Lighting solutions of all the spaces is a challenge. The theatre (concert) hall is almost completely adjacent to a café which is connected by glass doors to a garden in the courtyard almost along the full length of the café. Other spaces are: office, storage, backstage for artists, temporary accommodation for artists…

The workshop introduction was focused on obtaining as much information as possible about the current condition of the cultural centre. For understanding the current state, it was necessary to be informed not only about the original purpose of the building, proposed variants of reconstruction, reconstruction phases, but also about the future of the entire project and planning.

During the several days, the participants carried out a study of lighting of the whole building, designed an optimal layout for the theater hall, designed a layout of lighting in exterior in the garden and lighting of the building as well. The participants documented the outcomes and implemented some of the designs.


Henk van der Geest (NL)

Henk van der Geest worked in the Dutch National Opera from 1973. From this moment, he worked his way up from a technician to a lighting designer only because of his practical experiences. In 1981, he travelled to the United States thanks to a grant from the Ministry of Culture, where he strived to gain various skills from this profession. He met and assisted to light designers from Brodway in New York, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera and Santa Fe Theatre festival. After he had come back to Netherlands, he became the first freelance Dutch lighting designer and worked on many productions home and abroad.

He worked as a resident designer for Opera Forum, Intro Dance and designed the world premiere of Naïma for the Dutch Opera. With experiences from theatre field, he succeeds in the world of architecture. Trough work on exhibitions, he has succeeded as a specialist on museum lighting.  He has been also working at various interior and exterior designs for hotels, restaurants, shopping malls…

Few years ago, he was one of the founders of the instituut Lichtontwerpen – iLO. It is an initiative that aims to support artistic development in this profession.


Tomáš Morávek (CZ)

Tomáš Moravek discovered the profession of a lighting technician thanks to the Prague dance conservatory Duncan Centre where he worked as a lighting technician and step by step, he started doing lighting designs mostly for students of this school. From this moment, he started being interested in the contemporary dance and lighting design.  Afterwards as a freelancer, he started working for other Prague theatres and companies.  He participated in many festivals in Europe, especially in Holland (before political and cultural changes) and with choreographers and directors not only from Europe.

He helped to implement lighting designs of installations and several unconventional spaces, for example the implementation of the theatre S2 (Stanica Žilina-Záriečie). Right now, he lives and works in Prague.

Thursday, 27. 11. 2014


Place: Záhrada – Centre of Independent Culture (Záhrada – Centrum nezávislej kultúry)

Námestie SNP 16, 974 01 Banská Bystrica                                                       

16:00 – 18:30     Introduction 

  • Welcoming and interlocution of all participants
  • Presentation of cultural centre Záhrada  by Milan Zvada (who is running this project and why, dramaturgy,  visions,  what they like to do in 5 year, 10 years, budget of the organization…)
  • Presentation of Záhrada by Milan Slama (architecture of the building, interior, exterior, techniques, all spaces…)
  • View of architect of reconstruction Martin Jančok ( presented by Katarína Ďuricová

19:00 Dinner

  • real action in the space, a performance of Italian group Piccola Compagnia Dammacco: L’inferno e la fanciulla

20:00 Feel the space

  • Why we are here and what are our planes and goals

21:00 Acoustic freak show

And free program



Friday,  28. 11. 2014


9:30 Preparation of the space

Common morning coffee

10:00 Work with space in groups


 – Hall

Variability of the space: theatre, concerts, discussions, cinema, workshops, markets…

  • drawing of hall,
  • designing of pipes positions
  • ideas for working light
  • emergency lighting


– Bar

Variability of the space: small stage, second bar, pianino, open space (related to hall), small events…

  • drawing of the bar
  • designing of hanging system (suspension points) for gallery lighting
  • possibilities of bar illumination


– Garden

Variability of the space: free time zone, day but also evening activities, events, bar, barbeque, playground, trainings, place of memorial

  • drawing of the garden
  • possibilities of lighting: access to the building – from the street, from the garden, from parking place
  • lighting of garden, special memorial, small lake (fixing fountain?), terrace, exterior bar, flowerbed


– Backstage

  • drawing of the backstage
  • drawing of dressing room and rest rooms
  • drawing of techniques storage
  • designing of best system of storing of techniques


– Other spaces

Office, Space behind the bar desk, rest rooms, accommodation for guests…

  • drawing
  • lighting possibilities
  • advices

12:00 Brainstorming and list of material (technologies)

  • planning of working process
  • budget and list of material (techniques)

13:00 Lunch / Shopping (13:00 – 16:00)

Lunch for participants, one group is making shopping

14:00 – 16:00 Visit of Gallery

Place: Stredoslovenská galleria, Dolná 8, 975 90 Banská Bystrica

Exhibition: Dominik Skutecký

Background of Banská Bystrica

16:30 Presentation

(back in Záhrada)

Preparation time for presentation of all groups

Main question for this session is: How are realization possibilities of all spaces and how to unify all spaces in one unit.

17:30 Presentation of groups

18:30 Discussion

  • Real goals and decisions
  • Planning of Saturday program

19:00 Joint dinner

20:00  Joint walk around garden in the night

  • Testing of lights in environment
  • Photographical documentation


Saturday,  29. 11. 2014


10:30 Preparation of the space

And morning coffee and leave of participants from Netherlands

11:00  Work on projects

  • spreading to the groups
  • spreading of tasks
  • work on concrete tasks
  • documentation creating (photo documentation, planes…)

14:00 Lunch Break

15:00 Work on concrete projects

17:30 Summary of the day´s work

  • questions and discussion


18:00 Cleaning of the space

  • packing of techniques and other material

20:00 Dinner


Transformation of participants in DJ and their battle

1DJ – 1SONG – free lighting design


Sunday,  30. 11. 2014


9:30 Preparation

Common morning coffee, preparation of the space…

10:00 Documentation

  • finalization of documentation (picture on web, texts, drawings and planes)

12:00  Lunch

Common lunch with recapitulation and feedbacks


13:00  Cleaning

14:00  The End



The workshop was designated especially for light designers, technicians, architects and also for visual artists. The workshop was in English.

Place: Záhrada – Centre of Independent Culture, Námestie SNP 16, 974 001 Banská Bystrica

Lecturers: Henk van der Guest (NL) / Tomáš Morávek (CZ)

Beginning : 27.11. at 4pm, end of the workshop : Sunday 30. 11. 2014 at 3pm

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