Text: Prof. Dr. Susanne Brenninkmeijer
Photos: Bernd Nöring

05. Aug 2011

Cosy without incandescents

The Knodel residence, a private villa in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany is a fine example of how lighting can be designed to create differentiated spatial experiences and cosy atmospheres without using conventional thermal radiators. This is a project that does not simply substitute incandescent lamps for LEDs or compact fluorescent lamps, but applies low-voltage halogen lamps and a BUS system. It is both exemplary and future-oriented, because the ban on general service lamps will mainly hit private households.

Every professional lighting designer is aware of the basic problems involved when designing the lighting for residential projects. The projects are generally relatively small, the solutions highly individual, and the lack of any repeat factors means that they end up as more of a favour for the private client rather than economically interesting. Such projects can be dealt with well, however, if the constellation of the design practice is right. Take a.s.h. in Cologne, Germany, for instance. The practice, which offers interior architecture and lighting design concepts, was founded in2006 and has already scored top points on a number of projects. It is run by three young women who, thanks to their different professional backgrounds, can provide a complete “design package”, where by lighting is an integral part of the overall planning. The three designers work together on the interior architecture and lighting, their different approaches contributing to creating the harmonious overall result. Architect Astrid Kölsche, interior architect Silke Pabelick, and qualified designer Heike Bertschat, who has been working as a lighting designer for the last twelve years, collaborate on a project separately step by step and then pull the overall project together during a series of concerted meetings. The result is a well coordinated project where architecture and light interact, and the interior architecture, and especially the materials, blend with the electric lighting to create the desired whole. The electric light responds to the carefully selected materials, using them as reflective surfaces and bringing out their respective qualities, thus helping to subtly divide the space into zones. It is especially in this context that one feels quite strongly that the design of the interior architecture and the lighting de-sign come from one and the same design practice and are harmonized to perfection. […]


The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 77.

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