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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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