When Stuttgart, Germany–based insurance firm WGV decided to create a company gathering spot—with access to a self-service cafeteria and a space for special events—at its headquarters, the situation provided a couple of unique challenges for lighting consultants Pfarré Lighting Design. The first problem was the site itself, three terrace levels adjacent to a protected historic building known as the Old Guardhouse. Second was a three-tiered ceiling (heights ranging from 12 feet to 13.5 feet) with skylights running in between each step in the elevation and the length of the entire 3,767-square-foot open-seating area.

The lighting designers worked closely with the architects and acousticians to provide a sensitive lighting response, one in which light quality would be the discernible element instead of the fixtures. To accomplish this, they developed a custom 10W 3000K LED-baffle ceiling system that provides a smooth, indirect, ambient lighting solution, despite the difference in ceiling heights across the room. In between the baffles, LED spotlights in square housings provide direct lighting on the tables.

Along the fascia of the center ceiling slab, panels of artwork in shades of red, magenta, and purple wash reflected color into the space. Another series of artwork in shades of blue, magenta, and purple line the lower ceiling slab fascia and add another set of hues to the mix.

Next to the cafeteria and open seating area is the Old Guardhouse. A series of garden terraces and ramped walkways connect old and new, and inground uplights illuminate the trees. The Old Guardhouse serves as a special events meeting space. Here, unlike the main seating area where luminaires are not to be seen, the octahedral form of the custom-designed dimmable fluorescent pendant luminaires in three different sizes is celebrated.

Seemingly simple, but certainly not, this skillful lighting design creates three distinctive, but connected, spaces and celebrates the very essence of light itself.

Jury Comments
The lighting provides a clear diagram of the space.
The uplighting on the ceiling creates a wonderful soft illumination.

A view of the new casino space at Stuttgart, Germany-based insurance company WGV's headquarters. It serves as a central gathering spot and self-service cafeteria for employees.
Andreas J. Focke A view of the new casino space at Stuttgart, Germany-based insurance company WGV's headquarters. It serves as a central gathering spot and self-service cafeteria for employees.

Artwork panels in shades of red, magenta, purple, and blue line the ceiling slab fascia of the three-tiered ceiling and cast additional hues of light into the space.
Andreas J. Focke Artwork panels in shades of red, magenta, purple, and blue line the ceiling slab fascia of the three-tiered ceiling and cast additional hues of light into the space.

Skylights run the full length of the space along each step in ceiling elevation.
Andreas J. Focke Skylights run the full length of the space along each step in ceiling elevation.

A custom-designed LED baffle ceiling system provides even, indirect, ambient lighting throughout the entire casino space.
Andreas J. Focke A custom-designed LED baffle ceiling system provides even, indirect, ambient lighting throughout the entire casino space.

Detail of the perforated, indirect LED baffle and the custom square LED downlight that sits in between.
Andreas J. Focke Detail of the perforated, indirect LED baffle and the custom square LED downlight that sits in between.

A view of the casino with the Old Guardhouse to the right.
Andreas J. Focke A view of the casino with the Old Guardhouse to the right.

The entrance to the old guardhouse space.
Andreas J. Focke The entrance to the old guardhouse space.

Custom pendants create a sculptural lighting element in the Old Guardhouse, which is now a special events space.
Andreas J. Focke Custom pendants create a sculptural lighting element in the Old Guardhouse, which is now a special events space.

View from the casino into the Old Guardhouse.
Andreas J. Focke View from the casino into the Old Guardhouse.

Detail of the octahedron-shaped custom pendant luminaires in the Old Guardhouse.
Andreas J. Focke Detail of the octahedron-shaped custom pendant luminaires in the Old Guardhouse.

View to the garden terraces, the outdoor space that connects the casino to the Old Guardhouse.
Andreas J. Focke View to the garden terraces, the outdoor space that connects the casino to the Old Guardhouse.

Nighttime view of the ramped garden terraces. Trees and other plantings are illuminated via inground uplights.
Andreas J. Focke Nighttime view of the ramped garden terraces. Trees and other plantings are illuminated via inground uplights.


Details
Project  WGV Casino & Old Guardhouse, Stuttgart
Entrant  Pfarré Lighting Design
Owner/Client  Württembergische Gemeinde Versicherung (WGV), Stuttgart, Germany
Architect  Hascher Jehle Architektur, Berlin
Lighting Designer  Pfarré Lighting Design, Munich, Germany
Team Members  Gerd Pfarré, Dominik Buhl, Katharina Schramm, Jennifer Langer
Photographer  Andreas J. Focke
Project Size  31,190 square feet
Project Cost  Withheld
Lighting Costs  Withheld
Watts per Square Foot  0.934
Code Compliance  Not Applicable (No energy code requirements in the project locale.)
Manufacturers  ACDC, Erco, Flos, Selux, We-ef, XAL, custom-made fixtures by Lichtlauf

To see all of the other winners of the 2014 AL Light & Architecture Design Awards, click here.