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Architecture and light from one source

Structurelab equips the new development building with LAVIGO free-standing luminaires

Free-Standing Luminaire LAVIGO
Free-Standing Luminaire LAVIGO
Free-Standing Luminaire LAVIGO

Villingen-Schwenningen, December 2017: At the headquarters in Alpen in the Lower Rhine plane near Düsseldorf, Lemken, one of Europe's leading manufacturers of agricultural equipment, has built a new development plant for the engineering and prototype development of new machines. The architects of Structurelab not only developed the design of the building but also the design of the office lighting.

Office and workshops combined in one building

Structurelab realised for Lemken both office and workshop functions in the same complex of buildings. The task was to plan a building section for the research and development department and a second section for the prototype production. The close vicinity of engineers and mechanics optimally facilitates the permanent exchange of ideas between development and production within a project.

Thanks to the idea of transferring the industrial construction design of a production hall also to the office building sector, future extensions – no matter whether workplaces are required in the development or in the production department – can be realised in the building system without any problem. The new building is characterised by a high spatial efficiency and an optimised energy concept based on its own co-generation station. In connection with the efficiently insulated external facade, the building is particularly economical.

The building design is marked by its three-aisled construction. Based on an industrial grid of 6.50 metres, two halls with a width of 21 metres and a length of 110 metres complemented by a connection axis with a width of 11 metres have been built. In the front part where the offices are located, this axis is designed as a glazed atrium.

Open rooms – short ways

In the hall area, the meeting rooms and foremen offices can be found on the same gallery level. Loft-style and column-free rooms for the development engineers were created in the office area on the upper floor. Doors only exist in the team leader offices. The direct connection between the open-plan offices of the design engineers and the employees of the workshop means short distances and creates optimum conditions for the development of new innovative products.

Partition walls which are necessary to structure the surfaces are completely glazed in order to not interrupt the open character. Besides some structures for communication and exchange of ideas such as small meeting rooms in the central zone and amply dimensioned meeting points, there are sufficient areas for focused working. This is supported by elaborate noise dampening measures such as the use of wall absorbers or acoustically effective ceilings.

Free-standing luminaires and architecture from one source

A special feature of the offices is the lighting concept with LAVIGO free-standing luminaires of Waldmann. Since Structurelab architects also developed the design of the free-standing luminaires, they can be seamlessly integrated into the open architectural design. "Light brings rooms to life, the interaction between architecture and light gives the interior space a profile", explains Structurelab architect Jürgen Schubert.

It was he who designed the Waldmann luminaire. His target was to design a luminaire with a timeless form reduced to the essential features forming a visual whole with the respective workplace and the entire project. With regard to the design, this means that all essential components of the luminaire are characterised by a simple, rectangular form with slightly rounded edges. This creates a particularly homogeneous appearance of light head and mast. Despite the simplicity, it was very important for Jürgen Schubert that the luminaire has an artistically concise, lightweight and elegant light head. This fascinates by a particularly flat height and, due to the linear profile cross-section, resembles a suspended pipe. The central, horizontal design seam gives the light head an additional profile and expresses the light distribution and the possibility of individual switching of direct and indirect light. Visible operating elements such as spring-loaded switches and light sensors are flush-mounted and provide a high user comfort due to the intuitive operation. "In our view, the development of light solutions for workplaces is a fascinating and responsible task", explains Schubert.

When developing LAVIGO, Waldmann and Structurelab were interested in an outstanding solution in terms of lighting technology. Waldmann's expertise in the lighting technology played a crucial role in this respect. A large number of experimental setups, light simulations and optimisations had been carried out – always searching for the optimum efficient light at the workplace. The employees of Lemken benefit from this effort.

The free-standing luminaires offer them maximum flexibility: if workplace constellations change, they can be moved to another position so that the user benefits immediately from optimum working light. "The interaction of thought-out design and innovative technology considering the future requirements on office workplaces characterised, from our point of view, a good and sustainable design of office luminaires", says Schubert.

The quality of the workplaces to create optimum work conditions for their staff was very important for Lemken. For this, the high-quality lighting plays a major role. With the successful implementation of a modern office landscape, the company sets standards for the orientation toward the future and creates ideal conditions to ensure staff retention.

Images: © Studio Holger Knauf, Düsseldorf