Editorial

PETER STEINMANN

The strongest product development team – the customer and Regent.

Within the context of the Fossil project, Peter Steinmann worked in close collaboration with Regent Lighting to develop the innovative Purelite linear lighting system. His experience and know-how led to the design and development of a lighting solution that meets architects’ requirements and expectations to a tee.

How is it that an architect ends up initiating a complex lighting solution?

The lighting solution is key part of the architectural design concept. Unfortunately, it nearly always means becoming involved early in the design phase. 

Understood. But what do you mean by addressing it early in the planning phase?

When the height of the housing of recessed ceiling luminaires means they cannot be installed in the concrete beneath the rebars, this means labour-intensive interventions on the part of the construction engineer. And for the architect this means limited flexibility in the early planning phase.

When it comes to row lighting systems, what would you describe as an ’optimum’ solution?

A row lighting system needs to be as flat as possible and still deliver first-class lighting. The trend towards hybrid ceiling constructions also requires the luminaires to be extremely flat.

What role does the ceiling construction play?

Simple suspended ceilings will slowly but surely be replaced by hybrid ceilings, which integrate heating, air-conditioning and acoustics components all in one element. Which means that ceiling recessed luminaires need to be way below 80 millimetres high in order to be flush-mounted.

And together with Regent you developed a solution?

In the beginning we had the vision of developing a simple one-piece flat rail which would extend across the ceiling and house the required electronics. Mounted onto that we envisaged an ultra-streamlined diffusor.

And how did you go about it? 

What we embarked upon was actually real pioneering work, which meant we tried and tested a lot of ideas. A very lively process with a lot of constructive brainstorming that took several years.

And do you think this would be possible with any lighting manufacturer?

I wouldn’t think so. A company must have a visionary view as well as the know-how and ambition to achieve perfect results. And they must never give up believing in the potential of an idea in spite of all the hurdles that need to be overcome. In future, there will be more cases where the architect brings his vision to a company and develops this in collaboration with the manufacturer. The company must see themselves as a true partner.

And did Regent fulfil your expectations in this regard?

I would say that the ultra-flat Purelite luminaire, which was presented for the first time at Light + Building in Frankfurt and will be going into series productions in the coming months, is the best proof of that. But the positive response received from many of my colleagues shows that our collaboration 
has resulted in a product which guarantees more flexibility when we are designing projects, and will continue to meet future requirements. 

The Architect

Peter Steinmann is co-owner of the renowned architects’ firm SSA Architekten in Basel/Switzerland. The firm’s service portfolio ranges from project development to detailed design and planning to creative support during execution. Within the context of a real project Peter Steinmann worked in close collaboration with Regent Lighting to develop the innovative Purelite linear lighting system. His experience and know-how led to the design and development of a lighting solution that meets architects’ requirements and expectations to a tee.