Thursday 29 June 2017

Quadratic lighting: The Goblin Room at the Villa Reitzenstein in Stuttgart is lit by the Selux Kju Square

The Villa Reitzen­stein is to Baden-Würt­tem­berg­ers what the White House is to US cit­i­zens. Ini­tially, start­ing in the 1920s, the villa served as the res­i­dence for the Pres­i­dent of the State of Würtem­berg and, since 1952 and the foun­da­tion of a new state, it has been home to the Prime Min­is­ter of Baden-Würt­tem­berg in Germany’s south-west.

This triple-winged, pres­ti­gious, neo-baroque build­ing is more of a small palace than a villa, having been built between 1910 and 1913 as the res­i­dence of Baron Helene von Reitzen­stein based on drafts by the archi­tects Hugo Schlösser and Johann Weirether. Over the course of time, annexes were then added to the villa to enable the prime min­is­ter to be accom­mo­dated in the direct vicin­ity of his work­place. Between 2013 and 2015 this his­toric build­ing under­went exten­sive recon­struc­tion at the cost of the state and its tech­nol­ogy was upgraded. The Min­istry of State exten­sion, which was found to be con­t­a­m­i­nated with asbestos, was then replaced by a new build­ing by the Berlin archi­tec­tural bureau Sting archi­tects – accu­rately to sched­uled costs and dead­lines as both plan­ner and con­struc­tor are keen to empha­sise.

Where his­tory was made

One room in par­tic­u­lar in this his­tor­i­cal villa is of par­tic­u­lar inter­est for Selux pur­poses – The Goblin Room. It was here, at the end of the Second World War, that the US Gen­eral Lucius D. Clay met with the provin­cial gov­ern­ment to lay the foun­da­tions for the rebuild­ing of modern Ger­many. Yet this is not the only reason for our inter­est in the room. For, as the Head of the State Chan­cellery Klaus-Peter Murawski recently com­mented in the press, this is also the room which has ben­e­fited most from the refur­bish­ment. And one key aspect of this gain is the room’s new LED light­ing system, which is pre­cisely har­mo­nized with the needs of listed build­ings, com­bin­ing as it does aspects of aes­thet­ics, power and func­tion­al­ity superbly.

Reader-friendly light

In refur­bish­ing the villa the goal, to quote Klaus-Peter Murawski again, was to com­pen­sate the 1970‘s trend for mod­erni­sa­tion”. Accord­ingly the light­ing plan­ners from the Berlin bureau Lichtvi­sion removed an ungainly pen­dant light struc­ture for direct and indi­rect room light­ing that used out­dated, con­ven­tional light sources and had pre­vi­ously dom­i­nated this con­fer­ence room. Qua­dratic Kju LED lumi­naires by Selux were then installed in the indi­vid­ual com­part­ments of the care­fully restored cas­sette ceil­ing made from cream-coloured var­nished wood via a spe­cial sus­pen­sion.

As well as its highly-effi­cient LED light­ing tech­nol­ogy, a fur­ther par­tic­u­lar fea­ture of this lumi­naire is its flat, pre­cisely shaped lumi­naire body made from trans­par­ent PMMA. The double wall design with addi­tional, opal optics on the inside gen­er­ates an attrac­tive look and feel, enabling par­tic­u­larly uni­form dif­fu­sion of LED light in the warm light colour 3000 Kelvin. This cre­ates soft light­ing within the room, which is per­ceived by users as par­tic­u­larly reader-friendly.

Bespoke, sys­tem­atic design

The Goblin Room was reopened in autumn 2015 and one look inside cannot fail to impress – the new lumi­naires blend dis­cretely into the back­ground, their shape com­ple­ment­ing the archi­tec­ture of this his­tor­i­cal build­ing superbly, their light sup­port­ing the room effect and its pur­pose as a con­fer­ence room. Yet at the same time, the lumi­naire con­fi­dently main­tains the required dis­tance from the build­ing sub­stance to lend it the air of an inde­pen­dent, con­tem­po­rary inte­rior design ele­ment. The Kju pro­gram by Selux has been skil­fully used by plan­ners here to create a vir­tu­ally bespoke solu­tion from the numer­ous system com­po­nents with their var­i­ous light dis­tri­b­u­tions and assem­bly options. The Selux high prod­uct qual­ity with its highly durable com­po­nents and pre­mium qual­ity mate­ri­als in addi­tion ensures refur­bish­ments of this type are both pleas­ing to the eye while at the same time cre­at­ing the effect of sus­tain­abil­ity in the long term.

June 2017
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