The Shelf, Prinzenstrasse

In the heart of Kreuzberg in Berlin, a lively urban space is being created in a landscaped inner courtyard, which opens up to the street space through its funnel-shaped, two-story development and allows the city to flow into the inner courtyard of the property.

The five- to six-story building ensemble closes the edge of the block at the corner of Prinzenstrasse and Ritterstrasse. The green inner courtyard, reminiscent of the historic Berlin courtyards, serves as a common lobby for all users of the office building.

The basic idea of our light design is to connect the interior and exterior space, to invert it. No clear separation is drawn between exterior and interior lighting. The interior courtyard should function as a living room, a meeting place for exchange. Floor lamps and the oversized eight-meter chandelier designed and developed specifically for this building project create this atmosphere and special quality of stay. With its 40 suspended lighting elements, it spans the entire courtyard.

Our thought here was to develop a chandelier from the delicate floor luminaires; to design an object that, despite the size, allows a lightness and a certain play/movement. In addition to the shape and dimension, the chandelier has intelligent control. During the day, the heads glow in cool white, just like the sky above them. Two hours before sunset, the light color slowly begins to get warmer, so that when the sun goes down, the heads glow dimmed in warm white, creating a very special mood in the evening and night hours.

The client also wanted a bright entrance area. However, the architects wanted no visible lights here and an evenly lit ceiling. The biggest challenge was to combine these three parameters. It was a tricky task to evenly illuminate the complex geometry of the ceiling, which leads round into the courtyard, but the results are impressive.

Our lighting concept avoids any light pollution, because in the courtyard all light points of chandeliers and floor luminaires are directed downwards and the passage with the uplights is completely covered.

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