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Lampenwelt Office Building, Schlitz, Germany

Tuesday 17 May 2011

A lightbulb moment...

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herbertarchitekten converts former school building into the commercial headquarters of major lighting retailer lampenwelt.de 

herbertarchitekten were asked to design the new headquarters of Europe’s biggest online lighting store, lampenwelt.de. The challenge was to transform a former school building, constructed in the 1960s, into a representative office building. Due to the huge demand of space, the original flat hip roof was removed and a new level in timber frame construction was placed on top.

Naturally, the modernised building fulfils actual German regulations for energy saving in buildings. Inside the existing formal order was kept. Stairs and corridors remained, and the former classrooms transformed into offices, however the street elevation was heavily modified. A new extension houses the entrance on ground floor, whereas on the first floor there´s a representative meeting room with small rectangular windows.

The glass window-panes are coloured using transparent foil, and are placed randomly across the neutral facade. Internally, 8cm thick stone steps with steel supports create a sweeping gesture between the ground and first floors. This staircase as well as the extension and the foil-covered windows are lit spectacularly with colour-changing LEDs. Both the architects and client decided to create a modern but homely feel inside - realised through a combination of black granite, glass, white walls and ceilings.

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