Galeria Kaufhof

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Building developer:Galeria Kaufhof GmbH
Planner:Licht Kunst Licht AG, Bonn/Berlin
Location:Frankfurt u.a.
Year of construction:2009


- Lunis® SL family
- downlight
- directional spotlight
- wallwasher
- column floodlight
- 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-fold luminaire module

The lighting planners Licht Kunst Licht developed an extensive lighting concept for Galeria Kaufhof GmbH, a subsidiary of the Metro Group, that came about as part of intensive dialogue with the Kaufhof Interior Design and Construction Management departments, and that has been implemented step-by-step since 2004 in the Galeria Kaufhof retail outlets. A core component of the concept is a consistent system of lighting realised with Siteco lighting in the Frankfurt, Hamburg, Kassel, Mannheim, Munich and Würzburg stores.

With the slogan 'I'm looking forward', Galeria Kaufhof is presenting itself as a modern lifestyle company with high quality, internationally oriented assortments, succinctly exhibited in clearly arranged goods worlds and with a wide variety of brand shops. A lively, inspiring world of goods with friendly entrances and bright, generous retail zones, with clearly visible route guidance and creative rear wall design, and of course a new, highly sustainable lighting concept.

A colourful and eclectic mix of luminaires and lamps is the most apt description of lighting situations in some retail establishments from the seventies. Wide-area illumination with fluorescent sources cast the sales areas in diffuse light, and dramatic elements of light were sorely missing. The shops had island solutions with special luminaires that disturbed the homogeneity of the ceiling appearances.

The use of a wide variety of sometimes highly uneconomic lamps could not be justified in the long run, as well as the fact that house inspectors needed to stock up to 100 different types of lamps in one subsidiary in order to equip the storeys. No suitable ambience for a department store that sees itself as a trendsetter and initiator in the urban retail sector.

"A stylish stage for the emotional presentation of product worlds" is what the new generation of Galeria Kaufhof outlets requested, banking on the innate, in-scene setting strength of light.

One fits all

A lighting grid was developed with the aim of establishing a consistent lighting system with step-by-step implementation that functions both for Galeria Kaufhof and the shop-in-shop concepts. The grid system, apart from a few exceptions in the food zones, exclusively specified 35W and 70W halogen ceramic lamps with very high colour rendition quality. The basic element is a modular recessed ceiling component having three or four openings: According to application, downlights can be used for general lighting, and wallwashers and directional spots for accent lighting that can be rotated and swivelled. With optimised reflector technology, average installed load is only 14 to 17 watts per square metre as a measurement of area, with illuminance of 500 to 1200 lux.

If areas are rearranged or used elsewhere or displays are modified, the lighting components can also be simply replaced or adapted to the new conditions. If a prestigious boutique for example wants to dispense with general lighting and instead rely on merely a dramatisation of goods, the lighting concept readily adapts to this just as well as if only general lighting is required for other areas.

All luminaire are built into so-called replacement frames, and can be mounted, replaced or realigned without tools with a few hand movements. As a result of maximum quality demands, these procedures are possible during running operation thanks to very good thermal dissipation; a low rate of lamp failures with long service life are the primary aims.

The luminaire modules can be installed flush into a wide variety of ceiling systems, often in metal panels, in tight installation situations and plasterboard ceilings. The arrangement of modules varies according to ceiling height that in the department stores consists of between 3.5 and 6 metres. The depth effect and light appearance of the interiors are gained from the illumination and accenting of the rear walls – in department stores these are the most important surfaces for the emphasis of goods. Luminaires along the rear walls are arranged in rows and alternate between wallwashers and directional spots. If the wall surface is interrupted by a doorway, the area is marked with recessed downlights.

Within the sales areas, recessed spots installed in a ring pattern around the columns and equipped with sculpture lenses provide additional accent lighting, and together with the accented goods and the illuminated spacial peripheries form a further fixed point in the hierarchic perception.

What you see is what you get

A visit to the Galeria Gourmet food department is one of the highlights of strolling through the store. The Munich Galeria Kaufhof in terms of lighting sets new standards.

Light dramatisation in the food zones is based for its effects upon keyed-down general lighting and the use of directed light. The foodstuffs themselves and their natural appeal are the main attraction. Lighting is intended neither to falsify or to beguile but primarily to emphasise the strengths of the goods: what you see is what you get! The contrast-rich, accented lighting creates effective islands of light and models the goods in the shelving, communicating the concept of quality and a suitable sense of value.

Ceramic lamps are used here as well, apart from the fruit and vegetable zones that benefit from the impression of being illuminated by Italian sunshine: light is purposefully directed onto the goods that look particularly attractive with their natural colours and surfaces, such as with tomatoes and bell peppers, although sand-coloured potatoes are not as exposed to view. 50 watt high pressure sodium lamps with their warm white light emit a sense of the Mediterranean into the food department, but their temperatures on the other hand are not akin to the hot southern climes.

The concept of reduced illuminance values with accenting components leads to energy savings in relation to the air conditioning of rooms, and especially in food zones this is certainly no small factor.

Champagne, wine from across the world and spirits: the wine and spirits department has over 120 whisky brands and 600 different wines, and is purposefully illuminated to resemble a wine cellar with low general lighting, reduced orientation lighting and strong accentuation. It's not only customers that enjoy the special atmosphere, employees have also welcomed the new ambience and recognise the possibilities made available by light.

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