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Peak performance: Zumtobel lights Scott Sports headquarters
Anything but ordinary: the architects at IttenBrechbühl in Bern have designed a new headquarters for Scott Sports in which nothing has been left to chance. And Zumtobel played a significant part in this innovative construction project, too, with their customised lighting solution and clever concealment of technology helping to create a pleasant working environment that supports employee well-being.
Always give your best. For Beat Zaugg, CEO of Scott Sports, "peak performance" is a key concept. It's what has enabled his outdoor equipment company to join the ranks of the world's most successful sporting goods manufacturers. And it's also reflected in the architecture of the company's new headquarters in Givisiez, Switzerland. The building's impressive architecture houses an inviting working environment, where open space and light are the real luxuries.
The new building will be home to all Scott Sports departments, which include the cycling, winter sports, running and motor sport departments, as well as subsidiaries of the divisions such as Syncros, Bergamont, Dolomite, Powderhorn, Bach, Lizard and Outdoor Research. When employees enter the new building, they are greeted by a spectacular atrium flooded with light, which is accessed via an impressive flight of steps that flows from the entrance and via a curved wall to the auditorium. Public areas are accessed via this lobby.The ground floor includes the cafeteria and restaurant, as well as the showroom and a view of the grounds, where newly developed bikes are tested. On the four upper floors, employees will find open-plan office space and separate focus rooms, all intended to offer future generations the perfect working environment, too. Employees can also use the bike garages, fitness facilities and lockers. "I believe that it's important for our employees to be able to benefit from an infrastructure that allows them to play sport, meet or simply relax", says Zaugg. The company intends to employ up to 600 employees in its new headquarters. The aim was to offer employees a stimulating environment, along with state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology.
The new building's external façade is aluminium and is a direct reference to the Scott Sport's first product: a ski pole in the same material. The high-tech base façade and the dynamic awning, which opens and closes depending on the weather, are also remarkable. There's a hidden analogy here, too: "Scott Sports is a dynamic company that has grown considerably in recent years. We wanted to show that in the façade as well", explains architect Tima Kamberi from IttenBrechbühl. The wooden slats on the atrium walls are also particularly interesting and also allude to the company's connection with skiing. The word "ski" comes from Norwegian and simply means "split piece of wood". Here, this creates an effect that emphasises the spaciousness of the rooms. The main challenge for Zumtobel lay in integrating the technical lighting in the structure and blending it visually into the architecture. And the Austrian luminaire manufacturer found exactly the right customised lighting solution for the task.
Special lighting solution for perfect presentation
In the atrium, light plays a central role. Daylight is let in through the roof and is supported by artificial light in the form of the almost invisible light lines SLOTLIGHT infinity slim, which were integrated discreetly in the ceiling as general lighting. On the wall, minimalist linear luminaires, placed asymmetrically between the wooden slats, create striking light effects: when you enter, you notice them as objects, when you leave, you notice only their light. The continuous rows, only 45 millimetres thick, are designed to cleverly guide light around corners using 90-degree connecting elements. They have been individually shortened and bevelled. Room geometries are thus highlighted, room zones defined and corner areas placed in focus.
In addition, Zumtobel chose powerful LED spotlights to present Scott Sports' products in the showroom. The almost invisible luminaires illuminate the new bikes – against a natural landscape that can be seen through large windows. The flexibility required for changing product presentations is provided by the adjustable spotlights and a track system with various equipment options. Adapting the lighting angle and luminous flux also helps to display the different products in the showroom in their best light.
In the auditorium, SLOTLIGHT infinity slim was used as a continuous light line to create a kind of tunnel. The luminaires thus integrate the necessary technology for the media room and also hold the special ceiling sails that dampen the acoustics and absorb sound – for an impressive cinematic effect. In addition, PANOS downlights ensure that the stage can be lit in multiple ways.
The vital need to integrate technical lighting into the architecture is also clearly in evidence on the office floors. The glare-free circumferential light line connects corridors and offices with rounded corners, where the technical lighting challenge lay in creating a uniform light colour on the straight and curved parts. A particular challenge for Zumtobel was the integration of the continuous rows in the acoustic ceiling sails, in which the glare-free light lines were laid diagonally, reflecting the geometry of the external façade and requiring each luminaire to be individually adapted.
This professional concealment and integration of the technology makes the individual areas of the company headquarters appear spacious and inviting. "Open spaces are important, as they enable growth", says Zaugg. "I believe that in Zumtobel we have found a partner who shares this view and works towards this as a company".