Visiting a Clever, Cheerful Man. The “Anton Pann” Memorial House in Bucharest

Project: Zeppelin
Text: Constantin Goagea
Photo: Andrei Mărgulescu

Old Bucharest remains visible to this day in the irregularity of many streets and in the architectural typology of some houses. Next to the Stelian-Lucaci church, somewhere close to Calea Călărași, there lies one of those pieces of town where one can still find, in the path of streets and property limits, the 19th-century specific urban model

Positive-negative. Zumarraga Interpretation Center for La Antigua Chapel

The building is both inside and outside the mountain, it’an object and a limit, a margin and a gate. And its walls have been shaped by its columns

Project, text: Salvador Ventura de Blas, Pau Llimona, Yoshihide Kobanawa, Kaoru Kobanawa
Photo: @KOBFUJI Architects

Architects of dreams. Around the “Pink Floyd. Their Mortal Remains” exhibition

Text: Ștefan Ghenciulescu
Photo: Georgiana Ghenciulescu, Ștefan Ghenciulescu

No, I did not cry at the exhibition. Well, I teared up a bit, at the end, when, after a “silent disco” tour, when each visitor was practically alone with the exhibits and the music and talks coming from the wireless headsets, we arrived in a large round room where you could see on a circular screen a loop with the end ofone of their last concerts, including David Gilmour – the one from back then and the only one – thanking the audience.

The barn for all. The riding stables of Sânsimion

Project: Larix Studio
Text: Köllő Miklós
Photo: Köllő Miklós, Szigeti Vajk-István

An exercise in landscape transparency, by which a relatively large volume gets acquainted with the scale of the place, and especially with the cultural landscape in Transylvania’s Székler Region.

Freeing Architecture – Junya Ishigami exhibition – Fondation Cartier, Paris

What would architecture students do without the plans and scale models of Junya Ishigami? It’s hard to be in a studio jury in which you could not recognize the model – detailed, delicate and transparent drawings, ethereal scale models that combine abstraction and reduction to the essence with naturalism.

Case study: Lech am Arlberg becomes a smart ski resort through urban illumination and the reduction in light pollution

(A) The night image of the Lech ski resort has been improved by a new LED lighting concept. Zumtobel in cooperation with Dieter Bartenbach, the consultant specialist, has developed a customized outdoor illumination solution, providing a new image both to the town of Lech, and to the river bearing the same name. A specially-created control system adjusts the light levels depending on the time of day or night, for lighting conditions to be perfect at any time.

Lech am Arlberg , Austria, is a picturesque ski location on the banks of the Lech river, surrounded by an impressive mountain landscape, rising up to 2809 meters above sea level. The small, 1500-inhabitant town sustains itself through tourism. With approximately 8300 available hotel beds, Lech reports nearly one million overnight stays per year. The dwelling was preserved as a small village-type settlement, having, however, very high standards, and in the past Lech has been awarded with the title of “the most beautiful village in Europe”.

The initial state of this space was, as is the case with many other settlements, a total mayhem of illumination, blurring the town’s urban landscape. Diffuse light is usually caused by the conventional outdoor lighting, which mostly involves wide-light distribution lamps. On top of those, the illumination of storefronts and of advertising is excessive, so that the town’s authentic image is completely obliterated. “The perception of space is overthrown by the fact that the viewer’s attention is exclusively drawn to the sources of glare”, Bartenbach explains.

The new concept makes it so, at night-time, the town of Lech with its typical characteristics – hotels, river, streets – are deliberately highlighted by the LED lighting solution, which provides an accent light and defines the space. The light fitting specifically made for this purpose breaks the intensity of light in several LED points, so that passers-by are no longer blinded. Besides, the light is much more precise and better targeted than before. Another advantage is the modular design, similar to a system of tubes: light fittings can be configured with 6 up to 24 LED points, each of approximately 2 W. Thus, lighting can be adjusted function of needs. Also, Zumtobel has developed different versions of the poles, fit to their placement.

 

The main specific element of this village is given by the linearity of the urban area, which is now highlighted through the new lighting solution. The main street is pleasantly lit like an esplanade, and so are the river and the facades. The creation of a visual perception of the river, now highlighted at night as well, was an aspect planned by the designers from the very beginning. Light brings the river to the town, outlining the bank walls. This approach provides a dynamic image, which captivates through the movement of water currents, resulting in a three-dimensional effect.

 

Another element of spatiality is provided by the lighting of facades, where the modular system proves to be very practical. Instead of mounting the light fittings up on poles, they can also be mounted on facades, which not only provide the uniformity of aspect and the balanced lighting effect, but also the spectacular illumination of Lech hotel facades. This visual argument eventually convinced the hoteliers, themselves responsible for the financing of this lighting.4

 

The light is distributed more efficiently: from dusk till 10 PM, the urban space is fully illuminated. After 10 PM, the lighting on facades is turned off, and at midnight the level of light on the streets is reduced to ambient level. The control of lighting intensity is made through a web control system: each light fitting contains a radio-frequency sensor which allows its control. This way, the concept of Smart City is also inserted in the Vorarlberg Alpine landscape.

 

The new urban lighting solution is not just a visual improvement.

The precisely focused light, together with the elements reducing the glare effect and an adequate control system, provide a sustainable lighting system. LED luminaires are more efficient and better suited for the environment than the conventional, diffuse-light models, which send 60% of their light towards the sky, and light pollution and the impact on animals are reduced. The nocturnal image of the town of Lech is, therefore, an investment in the future, in several ways.

Light pollution

The phenomenon of light pollution, also known as ALAN (Artificial Light at Night) represents a process of degradation of the photic habitat. Light pollution has skyrocketed with the development of industry and of urban areas. The source of this type of pollution includes outdoor and indoor architectural lighting, billboards, street lighting, sports facilities, as excess lighting may have undesirable effects on the local ecosystem, from plants to wildlife.

The circadian rhythm is a cycle of approximately 24 hours of biochemical processes related to any living being (man, animal, plants, fungi, bacteria). The rhythmicity is present in the patterns of rest, feeding, body temperature, food, brain activity, etc. This rhythm works in tandem with melatonin, an important hormone for the well-being of the body. Melatonin induces the state of rest, aiding the body maintain its 24-hour cycle. Blue light disturbs the production of this hormone, which inhibits sleep, the body being still active. This leads to system disturbance, to fatigue, and, implicitly, to an unhealthy operation.

Lighting solutions need to take these factors into account. The inclusion of the control system allows the creation of light scenarios against the time of day, as well as of the urban, but also natural, rhythm.

In Lech, the architectural, the street and the indoor lighting are correlated and pre-set to achieve scenarios that gradually reduce light in the urban environment, depending on the inhabitants’ activity, but also function of the circadian rhythm of the natural environment.

The Zumtobel Group is an international lighting group, specializing in luminotechnics, an important provider of innovative lighting solutions, lighting components and related services, all under the same umbrella. The acdc brand stands for the powerful and creative force in architectural lighting, which can transform spaces into unique experiences. The Thorn brand represents top of the range, efficient and trustworthy lighting solutions, yielding an excellent quality of light, easy to use, economical, and ThornEco brings LED economy light fixtures. Tridonic is the specialist in developing new LED systems and technologies for connected lighting, it is an active global brand which provides solutions for smart, connected and efficient lighting within a reliable and energy efficient holistic architecture of high-quality hardware and software. The ZGS service portfolio provides answers to the project management of key-turn lighting solutions and includes services for light contracting and technical maintenance and maintenance services worldwide. The Zumtobel brand provides the premium form of architectural lighting, through a professional approach of lighting, a very good price, increased attention to energy efficiency, a unique design approach in searching for perfection, through its unique and timeless design.

Contact:
Daniel Mușat
Country Manager Romania
Business Channel Manager Specification South-East Europe
M +40 731 321 200
daniel.musat@zumtobelgroup.com
zumtobel.com

 

Courtyard under a tree. Loft transformation in a listed building, London

Project: RoundRobin studio
Text: Anca Mihalache
Photo: Radu Malașincu

A bit of history

The main part of original building was built in around 1825, as the Haberdashers’ Almshouses. Later in the 19c the building was used as a school, and in 1898 this was purchased by the London County Council for use as Shoreditch Technical Institute.

3rd generation infrastructure. Michi no eki- Roadside Station and community building in Mashiko, Japan

Project: Mount Fuji Architecture Studio
Text: Masahiro Harada
Foto: Mitsumasa Fujitsuka & Mount Fuji Architects Studio

Black House in Uptown Bucharest. YTAA: The Museum of Recent Art

Text: Ștefan Ghenciulescu
Photo: Cosmin Dragomir

Romania suffers from a terrible lack of museums. Not only are there few museums made, if any; more than 100 museums or memorial houses have disappeared over the twenty-something years, especially through retrocessions (and out of the authorities’ lack of interest in purchasing them). Under these conditions, a new museum, especially a museum of modern and contemporary art, is an event. Should true architecture also show up there, so much the better.

“Meetings”. An Installation within the Walls of the Alba Iulia Citadel

Text: Dorin Ștefan Adam, Elena Viziteu
Photo: Laurian Ghinițoiu

Most tourists and Alba Iulia locals taking a stroll through the magnificent Vauban citadel are happy with the main public spaces – plazas and streets. Few of them realise that the place is much richer and much more complex – a sophisticated and labyrinthine system of spaces, with wide arched halls within the walls, passages leading to places that are undisclosed on a first walk.

Gellu Naum’s Comana House

Text: Mihai Duțescu
Foto: Andrei Mărgulescu, Mihai Duțescu
Plans: survey by the students of the atelier of Prof. Mircea Ochinciuc, 3rd year, Ion Mincu University, Bucharest, 2009-2010; assistants: Melania Dulămea, Mihia Duțescu, Adrian Moleavin

Edito: Cars over School

Text & photos by Ștefan Ghenciulescu

Let’s say you have an overcrowded school (grades 1 to 12), with limited space for games and sports in two small schoolyards. How do you go about it? Easy: You convert the front schoolyard into a teachers’ parking lot. And you do it properly, neatly marking the parking places with paint. The children can go on playing there, you don’t forbid it, but they will have to adapt their games, squeezing between the cars.