Volksbank Complex Freiburg
Freiburg im Breisgau
- Volksbank-Areal, 79098 Freiburg im Breisgau
- Hadi Teherani
- Lighting Designer
- a•g Licht
The Light that Connects
Central and impossible to overlook – even in the dark. When leaving the central train station in Freiburg, travelers immediately catch sight of the redesigned Volksbank complex – and have before them a building complex with a façade that stands out effectively thanks to the accented lighting design.
Realized with products by ADO Lights, (a TTC Timmler Technology GmbH brand), this part of the lighting concept is continued into the interior. Let us begin, however, with some basic details: The Volksbank complex redesign was the brainchild of Hadi Teherani Architects. The building complex boasts a gross floor area of 43,000 square meters, meaning it provides plenty of space for the cooperative financial services provider that is Volksbank Freiburg, the various foundations in the archdiocese of Freiburg, the St. Ursula High School, the Hotel Courtyard by Marriott, and other companies, too. The design challenge was to devise a single stringent concept that brings together the different occupants and functions. And this applied not only to the building shell, but also to the interior design as well as the lighting design, both inside and outside.
Daniel Walden of a•g Licht developed the special lighting concept and coordinated it with the architects at Hadi Teherani. A full year before completion, various specimen light lines were tried out on the outside of the building with a view to achieving the desired effect. The reason: The louvers of the façades are reminiscent of trees in an abstract way, thus calling to mind the Black Forest. The anodized aluminum profiles are not visibly connected to the building’s exterior. Moreover, profiles were specially drawn in order to integrate the LED light lines by ADO Lights– a modification of the series product – into the pilasters. In the hotel’s reception area, the vertical effect described is complemented by horizontal light lines. On the façade alone, just under 1,000 meters in total of these strips of dimmable lighting illuminate the building complex.
These LED light lines are also used repeatedly in an intelligent and varied way inside the building. In the Volksbank’s service counter area they decorate the two-story hall’s ceiling in the form of luminescent barcodes, at the cash counter the way they are arranged, on the sides and vertically, ensures that the terminals are illuminated evenly. On the hotel’s staircases the light lines subtly evoke a sculptural image of tree trunks.
However, finding a suitable way to connect the inside and the outside of the new build was not the only consideration in this case. For the interior, despite the very disparate usage concepts, it was possible to limit the number of colors and materials. Here different gray tones and oak have been used. A similar kind of harmony is reflected in the fixed indoor lighting, which has been restricted to only a few products, again courtesy of ADO Lights. The uniform intensity and quality of lighting is guaranteed by the Gallery LED – elegant yet unobtrusive downlights integrated into the ceiling in strips of three, six or even 12. The Aurora LED spotlights provide additional cones of light at selected points.
Users are offered various versions of the Linargo LED. This rectangular luminaire is suitable for an array of scenarios and purposes – because it can either be fitted to the ceiling (as is the case in the school’s assembly hall) or it can also be used to create exactly the right degree of brightness as an unobtrusive, non-glare pendant luminaire, for instance, above a reception counter. It comes in different sizes, as well as being adaptable into a large number of shapes to suit the individual user. The best example of this is the version curved to form a wreath. ADO Lights realized this modern version of a halo for the school’s chapel.
Just what light can achieve when combined with the right degree of creativity is demonstrated once again by this collaboration between AG Licht, Hadi Teherani Architects, and ADO Lights – the same team, incidentally, that devised the spectacular-looking Crane Houses in Cologne – but this time in Freiburg. At the request of the Volksbank, the architectural practice, which works on a global scale, has interpreted the company’s logo carefully, yet at the same time given it a contemporary feel. The new look has turned out to be considerably more stylized, particularly in terms of its light lines. Accordingly, not only the vertically mounted LED light lines on the outside wall but also the logo on the Volksbank building ensemble, which is 4.25-meters across and 3.5 meters in height, lend the ensemble its own distinctive appearance, one that is visible from afar.
ADO Lights by TTC Timmler Technology GmbH