The Light Laboratory is a ca 6,000 m2 building designed as an extension to the iGuzzini illuminazione headquarters in Recanati. As a result of lengthy design and planning, the structure was finished in 2010, except for the auditorium which was completed in 2011. The overall complex is spread over four storeys, three of which house offices for the research and design of new products, while on the ground floor there are training and meeting rooms and a canteen.
In addition to the vast auditorium, the basement also houses a showroom especially designed to demonstrate the lighting effects achievable through the company’s products.
When designing the extension, iGuzzini asked the architect to create a multi-purpose building with a simple form and structure – a “cube” that blends in with the existing industrial complex and complies with all the latest requirements in terms of energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.
In fact, the thorough design of the structure and inherent systems enabled energy consumption levels to be reduced by 30% compared with those of a similar building constructed using traditional technology.
The artificial lighting system had a significant contribution to this decrease in energy consumption. Work areas were illuminated using Wide luminaires with a UGR<19, while Deep Laser luminaires were used for the transit areas and Deep Frame for the reception areas.
The auditorium is illuminated using three different types of recessed LEDs, so not only are the luminaires in the ceiling invisible, they are also adjustable to suit the different requirements of conferences and meetings. Recessed Reflex luminaires provide general lighting and are combined with Pixel Plus luminaires used for accent lighting. Deep Laser luminaires guarantee standard-approved lighting levels for the corridors and pathways.
The external pathways and entrance to the production area are illuminated by pole-mounted UFO luminaires, whereas the building, which has an extremely linear, decoration-free look during the day, comes alive at night through dynamic, coloured lighting created by Linealuce RGB luminaires installed within the double shell cladding of the façades.
When conceiving the design, the architect Maurizio Varratta took into account all the sustainability criteria required to maximise the level of environmental sustainability defined by the Sustainable Building Challenge certification system accredited by the iiSBE (international initiative for Sustainable Built Environment) Institute.
This system assesses the energy and environmental performance of a building by assigning a final score to its level of sustainability. According to this method of certification, the overall sustainability score achieved by the iGuzzini headquarters is 3.5 (on a scale from -1 to 5) – the highest value recorded to date for an office building based in Italy.
The features that have enabled this achievement include the use of passive systems for controlling temperature and natural light, the use of renewable energy sources (through an integrated photovoltaic system) and a groundwater geothermal exchange system for hot water production.
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