TRILUX Light Campus
GRAFT Architects have designed the new site of German lighting company TRILUX in Cologne. The design of the rectangular building was strongly inspired by the client’s craft; light, refraction and reflections are reflected – in the truest sense of the word – throughout the building and its design embodies the precision of lamp manufacture.
The continuous staggered glass façade presents a changing pattern of reflections from different viewpoints and draws inspiration from the aesthetics of spotlight refractors, which optimise the optical distribution of the light source. To achieve this, each façade module is rotated at the same angle about its central axis. The overall impression is of a monolithic building that produces different light and depth effects depending on the point of view.
Commenting on the work, Wolfram Putz from GRAFT Architects said: “Within the urban context the façade really stands out. They did invest a bit of money into something that is not necessarily standard. The inspiration was drawn from the high precision tools within the lighting industry and the overall lighting system.”
The main entrance of the TRILUX Light Campus makes an inviting gesture at the corner where it meets the street to the north; its glazing rising from one to two floors to wrap around the building corner. The new building frames the site on the western edge, defining a new space of interaction between the new and existing buildings. The landscape design by Lill + Sparla creates an outdoor plaza that is green all year round, with delicate grasses that contrast with the uniform overall impression of the building.
The theme of the plaza continues in the building’s interior. The spacious, two-storey foyer and reception area extends the public areas into the building and, together with the gallery on the first floor, provides generous space for exhibitions or communal activities. Likewise, the open stair in the foyer can also serve as a further meeting place. On the ceiling is a sculptural light surface designed by GRAFT and TRILUX especially for the foyer that is at once architecture and light. The sculptural luminaire folds out of the ceiling, curving gently over the space of the auditorium.
Wolfram added: “There is a custom made cloud light that is a huge custom made piece that you can see even before you enter the building. We did not only just design this one big lighting structure but we also designed a linear office lighting system, which was firstly deployed in that building but is soon to hit the retail market. Every architect wants to design everything in the building so to design two lighting systems and have one be product driven and hit the market is great. Architects usually only do one off pieces, so with people like car designers who see their designs driving around the streets, we don’t usually get to see much of the design afterward so it has been nice for me to see something go out to market.”
The upper floors of the building house the company’s office spaces as well as exhibition areas for TRILUX products and is therefore an essential part of the company’s own competence centre, which already partially existed on the site. The flowing floor plan continues in the upper four floors of the offices and extends the entire depth of the building, interrupted only by three circulation and washroom/WC cores. These so-called ‘Smart Workingscapes’ comprise both open communication zones and enclosed work zones equipped with hybrid furniture elements that can be variably combined in modules.