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Ölmühle an der Havel
Report

Ölmühle an der Havel, Berlin

The Ölmühle an der Havel is an oil factory that recently opened a new outlet in Berlin Kreuzberg. The family business specialises in the production of the finest cooking oils based on a tradition of natural quality. Its transparent oils in various shades are displayed effectively in the precise light of ERCO Optec spotlights.

“Special products demand a special presentation,” says Frank Besinger, who founded the Ölmühle three years ago with his wife Sabine Stempfhuber. The new production and sales areas of the factory are located on the mezzanine of a building in Bermannstraße that dates back to the German architectural period known as the Gründerzeit ('founding epoch'). With a bright and spacious feel throughout, the premises exude a sense of calm that adds to the warm and cosy ambience. The first thing to catch the eye on entering is the neatly arranged and elegantly labelled bottles, glasses and tins that fill the wooden shelves along the walls. A delicate scent of flowers and herbs permeates the air. Next to an array of cooking oils, the store offers a selection of fine teas and spices.

Ölmühle an der Havel
Ölmühle an der Havel

Oils freshly pressed on site
“We are producers, not just vendors,” Besinger explains. "All of our oils are freshly pressed and carefully processed here on site.” The ingredients – mostly organic – are sourced locally. Every Saturday, the oils are pressed in the salesroom giving customers the opportunity to watch the process. “Our products are genuine, pure natural products with no hidden additives,” Besinger reports proudly. This principle was taken up by communication designer Fabian Lefelmann. As he had previously designed and implemented the corporate branding, the Ölmühle proprietors now entrusted him with the styling of the new premises.

Ölmühle an der Havel
Ölmühle an der Havel

Quality emphasised in brilliant light
An important aspect for the proprietors in the interior design was a concept that emphasised the quality and genuineness of the products. It quickly became clear in the planning phase that light should play a central role. The sales area needed to be illuminated evenly, yet the products cast in an authentic light. Lefelmann opted for around 30 Optec spotlights supplied by ERCO, ensuring versatile use thanks to interchangeable lenses. Whereas the glare-free spotlights with wide flood and flood characteristic illuminate the sales areas and product presentation zones uniformly, the oval flood and spot versions add precise and sharp-edged accents. Individual arrangements on the shelves or at the display points are thereby accentuated, while the highly brilliant LED light enhances the three-dimensionality of the products.

Ölmühle an der Havel
Ölmühle an der Havel

Simple elegance for small rooms
The limited size of the Ölmühle salesrooms and a building fabric that dates back to the ‘Gründerzeit’ era left little option for technical installations. The compact shape and flexible use of the LED luminaires therefore provided further arguments that swung the decision in favour of ERCO. The spotlights form a counterpoint to the decorative object luminaires of established German company Bolichwerke. Combined with the varnished wood shelves and the rustic-style flooring, they complete the contrast of modern elegance and traditional charm that pervades the whole design concept for the premises.

Ölmühle an der Havel
Ölmühle an der Havel

Illuminated to bring out the colours of nature
Light and colour forge a close bond in the interior concept of the Ölmühle: The warm grey of the wooden shelves and the reddish grey of the flooring form a slight contrast to the cool white and grey of the walls. Packaging and receptacles continue the discreet colour scheme for a harmonious and calm overall impression. With a low-key interior and balanced lighting prominence is given to the subtle shades of the products, creating an utterly brilliant effect in the warm white light of the Optec spotlights and revealing their rich variety thanks to the optimal colour rendition of the LEDs. “Light is energy for the colours,” Besinger affirms. The vibrant yellow of the camomile flowers therefore is set against the blue of the cornflower and contrasts with the reddish orange of the ground chili. In the same manner the oils are illuminated to bring out their natural colours – from pale yellow and green through to a golden shade. “Different lighting would never achieve the same effect,” Besinger states. “Whatever the time of day – the light is perfect.”