Project team:

Client: IWC Schaffhausen/CH
Architect: Johann Gottfried Meyer
Exhibition architects: Smolenicky & Partner, Zürich/CH
Lighting design: Reflexion AG, Zurich/CH
Project management: Claudia Widmer

Products applied:

Power LEDs 40 watt/m, daylight white, ESW
Wall cabinet west wing: dimmable T54 watt batten luminaire with reflector, cool white 4000K, Regent
Inner cabinet: indirect component – peripheral hot cathode luminaires, approx. 35 watt/m, dimmable, warm white
3000K, manufacturer Neonilluma; direct component – Power LED strip approx. 40 watt/m, daylight white, ESW
Central cabinet east wing: 2 watt Power LEDs, cool white, Moltoluce / sales Switzerland Sir Heian
Indirect component: T24 watt batten luminaire, cool white 4000K, manufacturer Regent; indirect component for
room: 2 x 54 watt dimmable twin-lamp batten luminaires, cool white 4000K, Regent
Window cabinets, direct component: 20 watt CDM recessed downlights, cool white 4000K, Zumtobel
Central building structure: 20 watt CDM recessed downlights, warm white 3000K, Zumtobel
Ancillary rooms: 54 watt TC-L recessed wallwashers, warm white 3000K, Artemide; indirect wall luminaire above
main entrance doors/main opening: 54 watt TC-L, warm white, Rodust & Sohn Lichttechnik

07. Mar 2009

Swiss precision

Text: Prof. Susanne Brenninkmeijer/David Müller
Photos: Walter Maier/IWC

Switzerland is well-known for chocolate, penknives, bank secrecy… and of course the fact that the small Alpine state manufactures timepieces of premium quality. The company IWC has been at home in Schaffhausen for nearly 150 years producing fine chronometers. In 1874 Johann Gottfried Meyer designed the manufactory of the International Watch Company, into which a museum was integrated in 2007. The lighting concept for the museum was developed by Thomas Mika from the Zurich offices of Reflexion AG, and it functions with the same high level of precision and dependability as Swiss clockwork.

The exterior of the building is characterised by well-proportioned industrial architecture with a precise, skeletal structure and large windows. Unfortunately the elegant proportions of the construction have been disrupted to a certain extent by the addition of a further storey at a later date. As soon as he enters the museum, however, the visitor realises soon enough that the exhibition design by the Zurich offices of Smolenicki & Partner has much in common with the exhibits themselves: refined materials, such as traditionally stitched Lucente leather, and fine parquet flooring have been used, combined with more technically processed materials and fibre-glass reinforced plastic. Views of the entrance area already make it clear that the interior promises something special, with lighting designer Thomas Mika allowing light from fluorescent sources to emerge from coves and from behind furniture. He also backlit the frosted walls to emphasise the dignified, qualitative atmosphere in the space. Only selected exhibits have been highlighted – some outstanding and precisely manufactured examples of the horologist’s craft that developed over the long history of the company The exhibition concept originates from the German Institute for Cultural Exchange, an organisation that has already contributed to previous IWC exhibitions. Wandering through the creatively designed exhibition, visitors are able to trace the complete history of the timepieces on display as well as that of their manufacturer and also to a certain extent those of their former owners. In stark contrast to the prevailing sense of constriction that must have dominated the interior space when it was a workshop, the museum design now features a clearly symmetrical concept that opens the space up for people visiting an exhibition. Two rooms are situated adjacent to the entrance area: the reception and the watchmakers’ workshop. These have been designed as display cabinets and are specially illuminated to catch visitors’ attention. A winding staircase connects the museum spaces with the manufactory section. […]

The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 65

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