Preserving the existing, and making room for the new.
Engelshove Bau GmbH stands for well thought-out construction planning right from the first draft to the completion of the house. In doing so, the architects rely on high-quality materials, building materials and products. Together with selected partners, they primarily design modern residential buildings. To this end, they develop individual detailed solutions for interiors and exterior design. In the renovation and extension of a single-family home in Coesfeld, Brumberg products were pivotal to the concept and its implementation. In this interview, architect Anja Engelshove reveals to us what the special tasks were in this particular project, why illumination fixtures always play an important role for her, and how she goes about her various construction projects.
Ms. Engelshove, thank you very much for taking the time to talk to us. In the construction project in Coesfeld, you have extended an existing building with a modern addition. For this project, what was your key task?
Our key task was to preserve the basic structure of the existing residential building. Since this is the client's parents' house, it was of course an emotional project in which we had to show particular sensitivity.
That sounds like a rather high degree of difficulty. How did you deal with it?
For us, such tasks have been part of our daily business for more than two decades. Nevertheless, all clients are different and every project is unique. We always approach client requirements with the necessary seriousness, provide advice where necessary and try to put ourselves in our clients' shoes. In this project, therefore, it became clear very quickly that the old family home and its character should be fundamentally preserved.
You mention the open-plan living concept. What role does illumination fixture play in the development of a concept like this?
In open-plan living concepts, illumination fixtures should allow for variable usage of space. That is, it should accentuate the interior, but at the same time provide the necessary basic brightness. I like to divide rooms into zones, but I tend to base this less on grids than on structural elements such as windows. Already in the design phase, we pay attention to the incidence of light and look at how the daylight courses. With illumination fixtures, we can direct the line of sight of a building's occupants and visitors. It is important for us that the luminaire is coherent in terms of design, housing color and color temperature. Ideally, illumination fixtures can be dimmed to support different activities.
How exactly do you go about implementing your lighting concepts?
We deliberately work with accent lighting using special highlights such as light niches or light lines embedded in the ceiling. The room concept is invariably based on the requirements of the architecture and, of course, the client. Many rooms require different lighting scenarios, depending on the time of day and the activity. That's why we develop lighting concepts that meet these requirements, taking into account the multitude of demands people place on their homes. In the end, the aim is to convey a feeling of homeliness, security and safety. Brumberg is an important partner for us in this respect, as the products are coordinated with each other and fulfill precisely this functionality in private buildings.
What specific requirements did you have for the illumination fixtures on this project?
The lighting fixture had to be subordinate to the emotive and practical significance of its application, because the lighting effect is what matters the most. In this project, we worked primarily with recessed spotlights and light lines from Brumberg, which complement each other perfectly. Of course, spotlights and LED strips had to be coordinated in terms of light color. In addition, we usually work with smart home solutions, so the illumination fixture here should also allow for different time-of-day-dependent scenarios.
Why did you choose Brumberg for this project?
Simply because I am sold on the quality of their products. We have been working with Brumberg for several years. The technical versatility, the material quality and the lighting result win us over every time. And although I would like to see more decorative luminaires for dining areas in places, which I can metamorphose into spectacular highlights in my planning, Brumberg offers luminaires for various purposes that are consistent in terms of design, shape, color scheme and lighting quality. This allows me to use related products for different areas that create a cohesive look. In addition, Brumberg's LED strips provide the flexibility needed for lighting lines and accent lighting.
At what point in the project planning do you address illumination fixtures?
We integrate illumination fixtures into the initial design in coordination with a preliminary layout of the interior. We set accents right from the start, too. For example, with base lighting for fireplaces or bathtubs. In this way, we can show clients what is possible and how this can make their house more cozy and contemporary. The illumination fixtures often also flow from the architecture, as certain structural elements can determine the position of the luminaires. Once the floor plan is in place, we get down to the details and start with the electrical and lighting design. Being holistic is the key driving force in our approach, which means that we coordinate all the components of the house, from the driveway to the storage room and back out into the garden.
How do you approach the concept of the individual rooms and requirements?
The light always has to fit the overall concept, whether indoors or outdoors. It's always amazing the kind of atmosphere you can achieve with different lighting effects. The requirements of our clients are decisive here. An open building, as in this project, must be divided into zones that are also marked by the illumination fixtures. The light should be controllable as independently and variably as possible, and it should be geared to the time of day and the activities of the occupants. In addition, certain rooms have different functions. The kitchen, for example, is a multifunctional room where people spend a lot of time. The illumination fixtures here must ensure functionality, but equally create atmosphere.
So what is the project workflow like for you, from planning to completion?
For us, it is always important at the beginning of a project to get to know the clients. The discussions are not exclusively about the building project. To ensure that we can implement our clients' requirements in accordance with their wishes, we also need to know how they think and feel, what emotions they associate with the building project and what they would like to see in the course of the project. In addition, we need to get to know the nature of the property in order to work out what all is possible. Once we know all the parameters, we move on to the planning phase. In close consultation with the client, we develop our designs, which we then deepen and visualize in detail in the preparation phase. This also includes planning the building application as well as commissioning and coordinating the various trades, selecting the materials and making a precise calculation. When everything fits, it's time for construction. We take care of the construction management, so that the owners can sit back, relax and look forward to their new home.
Thank you very much for the interview.