In 1870 the North American firm J. & W. Seligman & Co. expanded its European business into a new bank building in Frankfurt am Main. Nearly 150 years later the listed Villa Seligman, now surrounded by the towering offices of global financial institutions, still represents the elegance of the period with aplomb. Following an update of its exterior lighting, the visual appeal of the red sandstone façade has been optimized, even at night. For this project, ewo supported the lighting and building-systems work of electronica GmbH.
The project commenced with lighting designs for various scenarios and on-site testing. The resulting renderings and readings facilitated the project participants’ planning, and enabled reliable agreements as regards monument preservation. This solution created in Frankfurt’s Westend district represents a perfect match with the object – in terms of light limitation, light distribution, the chromatic effect on the illuminated surface and mounting of the technical elements.
Because structural changes to the outer wall did not come into question, all light sources were embedded into the ground – except for the balcony lighting. P200 luminaires from ewo, placed around the house in an outer and an inner ring, illuminate the upper and lower parts of the structure. A light color of 3000 K ensures a warm hue. The viewer’s experience of the façade color is quite similar during the night and during the day.
We developed a new design for the luminaire housings expressly for Villa Seligman. Due to its shape, it is not visible from the outside, even on the balcony; at the same time it limits the distribution of light exactly to the dimensions of the building. Various lenses are available for mounting. This allows the illumination cone for each point of light to be individually adjusted. Even though irregularities in the ground had to be taken into consideration in placing the lights, the beams of light form a symmetrical whole. The luminaire housings are not only specially protected against mechanical destruction, but are also safeguarded against the effect of weathering; the vacuum valve prevents any possible condensation, even where there are openings. This solution is as finely balanced as it is durable − and is similar in this respect to the character of the villa.
Project: VILLA SELIGMAN
Location: FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY
Client: ELECTRONICA GMBH
Project Year: 2014
Photography: ACHIM REISSNER