Like many other resorts in the Alps, Bürchen struggles with a weak economy and the steady stream of young people leaving for other places. The village therefore organised an architecture competition in 2013 to try and reverse this damaging demographic trend, while also complementing winter tourism with an appealing summer offer and creating attractive long-term jobs. Fernando Menis was able to beat off strong competition from a host of renowned international entrants with a concept that brought together the redesigning of the village square with the construction of a new hotel and other facilities that would boost the local tourism and economy. He impressed the jury with a design approach that was both aligned with nature and deeply rooted in the imposing landscape, history and alpine traditions of Bürchen. At the same time, the plan from Menis fulfilled the core requirements of economic, social and ecological sustainability.
The realisation of the design was made possible by a customised lighting solution from Zumtobel, which is now available as a further-developed version of a standard product: SUPERSYSTEM outdoor. The LED exterior luminaire has been optimised for the multi-zonal showcasing of streets and open spaces. Each luminaire encompasses a number of LED light tubes, which can be individually and precisely equipped with appropriate optics that, despite the uniform appearance, blend specific accents with enhanced visual comfort and wellbeing. The natural charm and mystical effect of Bürchen's central square are highlighted with the Zumtobel lighting solution in the evening, creating the right light and an emotional, comfortable atmosphere that harmonises perfectly with nature.
Visual artist Andreas Waldschütz has now provided a genuine visual insight into this special atmosphere. Through a series of dramatic pictures he has managed to capture the unique mystical mood. The interplay of light, the architecture of the Valais mountain village and the alpine landscape on a plateau high above the Rhône Valley are authentically and intriguingly presented with his unmistakable style. As a result of the cooperation between Zumtobel and Fernando Menis, “Bürchen Mystic” now constitutes an additional tourist attraction, creating new jobs and helping to weaken the economic dependency on second homes. However, it is also a place that makes the living space of the local population more attractive. Once largely devoid of people, the new village square is now a welcoming location for visitors and villagers alike.
The “Bürchen Mystic” initiative has been named among the best 20 projects from hundreds of submissions for the European Prize for Urban Public Space, an award organised to recognise special achievements in the fields of architecture and urban planning. Bürchen Plaza is also one of ten ventures vying to be named “best landscape project” at the renowned World Architectural Festival (WAF) in Berlin, the largest international architectural festival. A second major phase of Fernando Menis' concept is also in planning: the construction of a hotel he calls the “inhabited forest”, a wood-like creation that will be fully integrated into the surrounding landscape.
Zumtobel. The Light.
“We are delighted with the double acknowledgment that this “Special Mention” from the German Design Awards 2017 represents,” confirmed Daniel Lechner, Marketing Director Zumtobel. “This kind of recognition further strengthens our constant efforts to develop truly innovative products that can be adapted to suit every user requirement, while simultaneously achieving new standards in lighting design.”
LINETIK – A minimalist luminaire for maximum lighting comfort
LINETIK challenges the established concepts of office lighting. Whether as a free-standing or pendant luminaire, LINETIK catches the eye with a delicate and minimalist design language that conceals a revolutionary lighting concept – light exactly where the user needs it most. Innovative lighting technology enables the user to precisely illuminate the work surface with direct and indirect light that can be individually and separately controlled, depending on the visual task. An integrated motion sensor turns off the luminaire when no one is present. In this way, LINETIK blends optimum visual comfort with maximum energy efficiency and an elegant appearance.
ONICO – A versatile lighting tool for brilliant presentation
ONICO is a versatile lighting tool for the configuration of individual lighting concepts in Presentation and Retail applications. The modular concept means that the optimum LEDs are combined with the appropriate reflector to meet the demands of specific lighting tasks. The beam angle and luminous flux can be selectively adapted to reflect particular lighting tasks, while the spotlight can also be precisely altered by hand to suit the products on display. The clear, consistent luminaire design and the integrated converter support this holistic approach. The reduced form language and clear design of the ONICO range add a tasteful degree of neutrality and help the spotlight adapt to any architectural setting.
About the German Design Award
The German Design Award is the premium prize organised by the German Design Council and has established itself as one of the most distinguished international design competitions. “Since its inception in 1953, it has been one of our key tasks to observe, analyse and evaluate developments in the world of international design,” explained Andrej Kupetz, CEO of the German Design Council. This independent institution helps companies to effectively showcase their design competence and aims to strengthen general design awareness among the wider public. The jury for the German Design Award includes recognised design experts from the business, science and design sectors. The award is divided into the categories of Excellent Product Design, Excellent Communications Design and Universal Design. This year saw for the first time more than 4000 contributions from 50 countries.
Zumtobel. The Light.
Subtle spatial presentation
Tailored specifically to suit the venue and its current use, the new lighting concept harnesses a carefully defined combination of functionality and aesthetics to help people truly appreciate the three-dimensionality and emotion of the historical garden. “Spatial arrangements of illuminated elements, streams of light and lines of shadow change with their own movement. New images of the night landscape, architecture and cultural space are constantly being formed, depending on the particular location and angle of view. These random picture formations move me because they tell stories – in much the same way that visitors can find stories inside the building in the museum,” explains Siegrun Appelt, describing how the medium of light shapes the way the environment is experienced.
The lighting concept invites individuals to consider the nature of the space and the blend of public and private. On first entering the garden, it takes a moment for the eye to get used to the reduced light intensities, as the subtle artificial light in the garden contrasts with the strong illumination of the surrounding urban space. The targeted light encourages visitors to walk, to discover and to linger, while simultaneously picking out interesting architectural features of the building and the garden.
Fresh thinking for a truly sustainable approach to light
In line with the concept of ‘Slow Light’, Siegrun Appelt has initiated a lighting project that is genuinely committed to the conscious and sensitive handling of light. ‘Slow Light’ harnesses innovations such as LED technology and control systems to maximise the potential of lighting in terms of sustainability and energy efficiency. Yet it also uses these possibilities to “develop new aesthetic styles, which work with less light to enable recognition of the special qualities of the immaterial medium, which can only be perceived through some form of illumination.”
Modular technologies like SUPERSYSTEM outdoor from Zumtobel also now make it possible for external lighting solutions to realise this approach. A total of 15 luminaires have been installed to illuminate the garden, pathways and facades of the Liebieghaus. SUPERSYSTEM outdoor luminaires can be specified with different numbers of LED light tubes to suit the particular application. The solutions for the Liebieghaus are each made up of three light tubes, which can be rotated and pivoted, along with a version that incorporates six fixed tubes. An appropriate optic with a narrow or wider beam angle can be selected for each tube, enabling SUPERSYSTEM outdoor to fuse maximum flexibility with extremely precise light control.
This adaptability was also evident during installation, with SUPERSYSTEM outdoor mounted on the existing lantern masts, in the ground or on one of the walls. Despite fulfilling both functional and aesthetic tasks, the minimal design language helps ensure that the luminaire itself remains in the background. This also meant that the existing classical urban ball luminaires could be retained to act as a delicate shimmering design element, with the only change involving the replacement of the original light source with 1W LEDs. With a colour temperature of 3000 K and excellent glare control, SUPERSYSTEM outdoor also guarantees pleasant visual comfort. In this way, Siegrun Appelt has successfully created a lighting solution that makes the historic atmosphere of the Liebieghaus tangible when the sun goes down, creating lasting experiences that touch all of the senses.
Zumtobel. The Light.
The individual as the lighting yardstick
Today the potential of outdoor lighting goes far beyond factors such as safety and orientation. Innovative lighting tools have the capacity to work like a filter, using light to carefully sculpt nocturnal living and working spaces. These solutions are geared towards the needs of people, the activities they carry out and the way they use their environment, while also taking the overriding ecosystem into account. As a result, depending on the particular situation and the specific time of night, the “light filter” is adapted to provide a light scenario that supports the people present. A stimulating lighting situation, for example, can initiate and encourage certain patterns of movement and behaviour. The targeted use of dynamic light in varying intensities and colours also shapes how people experience their surroundings and the feelings and emotions that they associate with a particular place. As a consequence, light helps not only increase feelings of safety, but also plays a decisive role when it comes to enhancing the attractiveness of squares, streets and even entire urban neighbourhoods.
The reciprocal relationship between nature, city, people and light
Solutions planned with “Human Scale Lighting“ in mind also recognise that towns and cities are no longer closed systems, but that they now change and evolve with their inhabitants. Through the growing interconnectedness of the modern world, new forms of communication and perpetual technological progress, urban spaces have truly become 24-hour places. Activities that were previously only seen during the day are now increasingly being carried out during the evening and at night. This means that urban areas are used differently and more intensively – and therefore demands appropriate lighting solutions that can adapt seamlessly to these changing living conditions. However, it is also necessary to limit the effect of artificial light on plants and animals and to minimise the consumption of precious energy resources. The starting point for this kind of lighting design is always the natural night scene. A lighting solution is then crafted layer by layer out of this darkness, using only as much light as is really necessary.
New LED outdoor luminaires naturally offer significant advantages in terms of energy efficiency, but they can also be combined with the right lighting controls to deliver light in a more targeted fashion. They improve three-dimensional perception and emphasise architectural features and points of reference to increase visual comfort and boost the quality of life in outdoor spaces. In addition, these kinds of solutions can markedly strengthen the identity of a location and support a brand image by accentuating the history and character of buildings, streets and squares.
Toolbox of light: modular lighting tools for outdoor urban spaces
With the expansion of the product portfolio to include outdoor applications, Zumtobel now offers architects and lighting designers new ways of creating task-specific illumination for pathways, squares, streets and façades. Zumtobel worked closely with experts and designers from UNStudio to develop the NIGHTSIGHT LED outdoor lighting system. The result is a lighting tool that can call on a comprehensive range of optics and installation options to ensure both the uniform illumination of vertical and horizontal surfaces and the delivery of specific accents. SUPERSYSTEM outdoor fittings are made up of several LED light tubes. The fine precision and excellent glare control of the multi-zonal light catch the eye, while the luminaire itself remains very much in the background. The carefully directed and measured light also helps actively protect against light pollution. Zumtobel has therefore developed a product range for the increasingly complex requirements of lighting in outdoor urban spaces – a portfolio reflecting the needs of the individual to enable high-quality architectural solutions that are in true harmony with nature.
Zumtobel. The Light.
The customised lighting solution for general illumination in the concert hall is particularly impressive. Zumtobel has referenced the architectural philosophy of combining old and new by working closely with Herzog & de Meuron, lighting design firm Ulrike Brandi Licht and the glass designer Detlef Tanz from Wegberg to carefully craft 1200 hand-blown glass ball luminaires. Paying homage to the nearby River Elbe, the fittings appear like light-filled water bubbles emerging from the undulating acoustic ceiling, in which the luminaire housings are discretely concealed from view. The combination of traditional craftsmanship and modern LED technology made the development of this lighting solution a special challenge for Zumtobel. The result is a custom-made luminaire with an especially attractive appearance, which uses a colour temperature of 2700 K to create an emotive atmosphere in the room. The ball fittings are seamlessly dimmable via DMX controls and fully compatible with HDTV, meaning that video recordings made in the concert hall are completely flicker-free. A third of the luminaires are also integrated into the emergency lighting system.
The Plaza features a further 870 machine-made plastic ball luminaires. These LED solutions are grouped in diamond shapes and provide pleasant warm-white general illumination with a colour temperature of 3000 K. Some of the fittings are linked to the emergency lighting network and the whole installation can be seamlessly dimmed with DALI controls.
Zumtobel developed another customised luminaire specifically for the foyer and the cloakroom in front of the concert hall. This hybrid product incorporates a hand-crafted fluorescent fitting with an RGB LED module, which can be separately controlled using a DALI interface. While the conventional fluorescent lamp is used for general lighting, the RGB LED module can be regulated to deliver the right colour for the right mood. Depending on the particular event, this means that the 750 luminaires can be individually adjusted to create poignant effect lighting. A proportion of the fluorescent lamps additionally perform an emergency lighting function.
Zumtobel has also used a number of established standard luminaires in the Elbe Philharmonic Hall. Track-mounted DIAMO and VIVO spotlights controlled by LITECOM provide general illumination in the Störtebecker restaurant. DIAMO is characterised by a precise beam and brilliant light, making it an excellent choice for accent lighting on the tables. Furthermore, PANOS infinity guarantees homogenous basic lighting in the hallways and conference rooms of the Westin Hotel. PANOS downlights offer uniform high-quality illumination of both horizontal and vertical surfaces, creating a pleasant atmosphere in the space.
The Zumtobel lighting solution reflects various elements of the Elbphilharmonie project, which has taken almost ten years to complete. “We are delighted to be part of this architectural jewel with our unique lighting solution - and now we can marvel at the end result,” said Nicole Drong, head of the Zumtobel sales office in Hamburg. Carsten Froh, sales representative for the project, was equally proud: “It is a wonderful feeling to experience the internal and external radiance of this new landmark.” Now the stage is set for this magical location to bring music and life to Hamburg’s Hafen City.
For more information about the Elbe Philharmonic Hall: » www.elbphilharmonie.de
Zumtobel. The Light.