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Mediainformation  Rossoacoustic

26. Juli 2016

Harmonious Combination

Renowned electrical engineering office opts for lighting and acoustics solutions from the Nimbus Group and appreciates the high design quality.

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The "New East Building" at the headquarters of IBG B. Graf AG Engineering in St. Gallen is the newest of three linked building parts. (Photo: Jean-Luc Grossmann/photopulse)
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It may sound like an unusual approach to planning, but it really is true: the Nimbus Group lighting and acoustics solutions in the new office of IBG B. Graf AG Engineering in St. Gallen are actually based on a photograph in a brochure. Roger Violka, the director of building technology at IBG, was even inspired by the colour of the Rossoacoustic PADs as the combination with the Modul Q luminaires was exactly what he had had in mind.

A leading engineering office, specialising among other things in energy and building technology, opted for LED luminaires and Rossoacoustic solutions from the Nimbus Group with its two brands Nimbus (lighting) and Rosso (acoustics). It was the visual and functi- onal compatibility of the two product ranges that really convinced those in charge. Their minds were made up once and for all following a visit to the so-called Mock-Up, the Nimbus Group's extraordinary showroom in Stuttgart, where they were received by the company's proprietor Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl. "We are always aware of our position as role models when we choose a technology or product," says Roger Violka explaining the company's philosophy. Role models because IBG counts energy efficiency, progress and ecology among its watchwords. The "use of energy- efficient […] luminaires at the workplaces" is also an important principle in its environmental management policy.

Functional Architecture, Effective Fittings

Lack of space for the almost 100 employees at the location in St. Gallen was the main factor behind the construction project. That is why the premises were planned with extra capacity for around 30 future colleagues and dimensioned  so generously. One is imme- diately captivated by the unique, slightly elevated position of the outskirts of St. Gallen; the unusually high windows inevitably draw one's gaze the surrounding meadows and forests.

Having taken all of this in, it is clear why Violka speaks of a place of inspiration, communication and presentation. In the assessment of Jürgen Staud of RLC Architekten AG, the building concept of the straightforward "New East Building" stands out due to the balance between proportions, materials, utility and economy. Despite the abundance of daylight, economical LED luminaires were required, especially for the communal and circulation zones. Furthermore, effective acoustics solution were needed to compensate for the hard surfaces – exposed and micro top concrete.

Eye-catchers, Splashes of Colour and a great Deal of Flexibility

The Nimbus and Rosso products used in the project "conform to the architectural functionality while also displaying a design impulse that does the building  good," says the architect  Jürgen Staud. The expo- sed concrete ceiling is brought to life by the square Modul Q Project suspended LED luminaires and Rossoacoustic PADs of the same shape. Suspended at varying heights, green PADs alternate with white and are interspersed by the extremely slim suspended LED luminaires – a playful contrast to the largely "cool" work zones.

Other Rossoacoustic systems have also been deployed at IBG, where they support the versatility of utilisation intended by the architects: the semi-transparent CP30 system panels afford the individual workplaces more privacy while allowing spontaneous changes to a room's layout thanks to their low weight. Although just as lightweight, the TP30 Wool acoustic panels have been fixed in position and form practical cubicles for accommodating coats, photocopiers and stationery. They are in the same shade of green as the ceiling pads or in matt black. If necessary, they too can be quickly and easily moved to accommodate growing staff numbers.

The Influence of the Acoustics Expert

The harmony in the design of the luminaires and acoustic elements was a decisive factor for the client. However, what is even more important to Roger Violka is that the employees are really satisfied with the result of the design of their workplaces. "This was a very important issue for those in charge at IBG as the employees had been used to one- or two-person offices, and in some case, the so- lutions for room acoustics in other branch offices are not comple- tely satisfactory," explains Enrico Romano from Gerevini Ingeni- eurbüro  AG. He began by determining the absorption levels that the acoustic measures were to achieve. Then the client selected the products – also taking aesthetic aspects into account – and the acoustics expert calculated the reverberation time and speech intelligibility in the offices and communal areas once more in great detail. This told him how many Rossoacoustic elements would be needed and where they should be positioned.

Corridor and Cafeteria rejuvenated with Nimbus and Rosso

The convincing solution in the new building seems to have had a contagious effect: the client decided to completely rejuvenate one corridor in the main building from the 1970s and also had it fitted out with Modul  Q luminaires and acoustic  PADs. The result is a lighter, more friendly and, in terms of acoustics, much more plea- sant working atmosphere. The cafeteria is housed in the structure linking the two buildings. Eighteen PADs were also installed on the ceiling here to enhance the room's acoustics.

The Building at a Glance

Utilisation: 5-floor office building
Client: IBG B. Graf AG Engineering, St. Gallen Architect: RLC Architekten AG, Rheineck/Winterthur Building engineering: Wälli AG Ingenieure, St. Gallen Building physics/acoustics:  Gerevini Ingenieurbüro AG, St. Gallen
Lighting design: Linexa Anstalt, 9490 Vaduz

Lighting solutions: Nimbus Modul Q ceiling luminaires and Modul Q Project suspended luminaires
Acoustics solutions: Rossoacoustic  PADs, Rossoacoustic TP 30 Wool, Rossoacoustic CP 30 System

Construction period: March 2015 – April 2016
Net floor space SIA: 2566 m2
Building volume: 9899 m2

About Rossoacoustic

An architectural brand, a creative head at the helm and innovative products for the design of living and working environments – this is what Nimbus stands for. In February 2019, Häfele acquired one hundred percent of the enterprise. Nimbus founder Dietrich Brennenstuhl will remain active in the management of the company at its present location in Stuttgart and will continue to be responsible for innovations, development and design of the product portfolio. Besides high-quality LED lighting systems and battery powered, cableless luminaires, Nimbus also provides modular, acoustically-effective partitioning and shading systems.

"Light Meets Acoustics" is the claim coined by Nimbus to describe its extensive product range and its holistic approaches, which are realised in both private residences and in the project business.