12. Januar 2023
To many it is a dream destination – Lake Starnberg, just about 25 kilometres southwest of Munich in the Bavarian Prealps. This is where a family fulfilled its dream, moving into the villa with a view of the lake back in 2009. Designed by the developer, it became evident after a while that not everything corresponded to the clients' wishes. The kitchen in particular was one thing that didn't meet their' expectations, and so it underwent a complete makeover in 2021. The redesign of the kitchen prompted the owners to consider an overhaul of the entire interior as, during the design process, it became increasingly obvious that there was potential for optimisation in the other rooms too. This idea eventually led to the total revamping of all the interior spaces, including a new lighting concept using Nimbus luminaires.
The owners of the villa wanted a fresher, more modern look and better functionality, which also included optimising the lighting design. With this in mind, they called in a number of experts to assist in the revamping of the property. Alexandra Meyer, an architect and expert for single-family homes from Starnberg, took charge of the project. Other major project participants included Pirkelmann + Schmidt Möbel- und Küchenmanufaktur and Das Badstudio, both based in Ismaning.
The property receiving the new interior was built in Bauhaus style with each floor becoming more transparent as the building rises from the ground. The higher the floor, the greater the communion with the surrounding greenery and the more wonderful the view of the nearby countryside and the lake. Whereas the ground floor with its predominantly closed wall surfaces provides a solid basis, the shell opens up more and more with each floor, culminating at the top in the accessible roof terrace.
The top floor is a key element to life in the house. It accommodates the living room, dining room and kitchen in a generous, uninterrupted space measuring around 100 square metres and opens onto a roof terrace. The intention was to make it the centrepiece and highlight of the house. "The clients wanted a fluid transition to the living and dining areas as well as to the exterior space," says architect Alexandra Meyer. Together with Sebastian Schmidt from Pirkelmann + Schmidt Möbel- und Küchenmanufaktur, she experimented with the idea of redesigning the house. The result was new zoning in three major areas. Facing the dining table, the team installed a block "as a wave breaker and meeting place", as Alexandra Meyer describes it. Then came the work zone with sink and hob – again designed as a compact block. These two zones are supplemented by a room-forming cube. Accessed through a room-height double door, its interior houses not only a dumbwaiter but also an oven, an upright freezer and a small storage space.
Facing the glazed facade aligned to the roof terrace, this "room furniture" accommodates a bar with seats and a counter with, in the architect's words, "a fantastic view of Lake Starnberg". The colour scheme of this element creates a direct connection to the treetops that can be seen from here. The boundaries between indoors and outdoors become fuzzy – especially when the doors to the roof terrace are opened.
With its discreet look and wealth of variants, the luminaires from the Q Four family proved to be the perfect solution: visually, they are very discreet. Precisely adaptable to varying requirements, their main contribution is to give rooms soul through their light language. At dusk and in darkness, their light creates a living, cosy structure composed of lighter and darker areas. A total of five different variants of the Nimbus Q Four were installed in the villa, including dimmable versions, varieties with adjustable light colour and models whose light can be directed to exactly where it is needed.
For example, Q Four IN LED luminaires are installed almost flush with the ceiling in the hallways and bedrooms to give soft general lighting. In contrast, the cone of lighted emitted by the tilting and turning Q Four TT ceiling spots highlights every nuance in the colourful works of art or create golden beams of light on tranquil surfaces. Q Four LED ceiling spots have been added where focused downlighting is required – for example onto the work surface of the kitchen island. All Nimbus Q-Four luminaires have special lenses that suppress glare and bundle light. They reduce light emission to a minimum. Light is either distributed throughout the room or accentuates smaller areas, depending on the beam angle. Thanks to its great variability, the lighting atmosphere becomes an ever changing design element.
The family is very happy with the new layout and new design and appreciates the adaptation to its specific needs. Architect Alexandra Meyer summed up by explaining, "Everyone involved in the project played a role in achieving this result," adding "Without the open-mindedness of the clients and without the commitment and significant input of the furniture, plumbing and lighting designers, the project could never have been such a great success. It was a tremendous joint effort."
Architecture: Architekturbüro Alexandra Meyer, Starnberg
Lighting design: Nimbus Group
Design and realisation of the kitchen and interior fittings: Pirkelmann + Schmidt Möbel- und Küchenmanufaktur, Ismaning
Bathroom design: Das Badstudio, Ismaning
Total living space: Approx. 315 square metres
Ground floor: Storage spaces, technical systems, fitness room, child's bedroom with bathroom
First floor: Bedroom with master bathroom, study, child's bedroom
Top floor: Kitchen, dining room, living room
Photos: Philipp Funke Fotografie, Zurich
Stuttgart, December 2022
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