Project team:

Hotel: Marco Serra Architekt, Basel/CH
Spa: Diener & Diener Architekten, Basel/CH
Interior design:
Hotel: Marlene Doerrie, Milan/IT
Spa: Michele Rondelli, Zurich/CH

Lighting design:
Licht Kunst Licht, Bonn/Berlin/DE
Team headed by: Martina Weiss
Project team: Isabel Ehm, Thomas Möritz, Andreas Schulz
Team headed by: Martina Weiss
Project team: Naiara Caballero, Thomas Möritz, Laura Sudbrock,
Andreas Schulz

Project management: Burckhardt + Partner AG

23. Jan 2017

Abadía Retuerta LeDomaine in Sardón de Duero/ES.

Text: Joachim Ritter, Andrea Rayhrer
Photos: Marcus Ebener, Berlin

Developing a new lighting design for a project that was built 800 years ago is both an honour and a challenge. The daily work of a designer calls for respect for the history and charm of architecture that was designed in a completely different era and for a different purpose, and requires courage when it comes to designing lighting to transport the reutilised spaces into modern times.

Following a ten-year renovation programme, the former 12th century Spanish Abadía Santa Maria de Retuerta monastery featuring Romanesque and Baroque architecture was re-opened in 2015 as a five-star luxury hotel and underground spa. After the architects had successfully translated the austere qualities of the mediaeval building into a modern formal language to suit its new usage, it was up to the lighting designers to develop a consistent lighting concept that would respect the historic nature of the complex while aligning to the use of the converted building located in the romantic landscape of the Ribera del Duero wine region.

For the lighting designers, the architecture and design of the old monastery building with only sparse incident daylight, presented a special challenge. The lighting design was to underscore the architectural complexity of the prestigious building and at the same time use light to adequately represent its historical context. And this is what the project was all about. On the one hand, the goal was not to superimpose a 21st century solution onto a former monastery and do away with the genius loci of the place, but on the other hand, the atmosphere was to reflect an ambience suitable for a high-quality hotel. The architecture was not to be distorted by a modern-day lighting solution or to take a back seat in the overall impression of the location. The solution lay in underscoring the texture of the stone surfaces and positioning luminaires to harmonise with the rhythm of the surrounding cloisters. The designers clearly opted to base their design on a luminaire solution rather than integrating a lighting solution into the culturally significant architecture.

The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 103.

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