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Schuhbecks Gewürze, Munich

The opulence of the Orient in striking light: Schuhbeck’s world of fine spices, Munich

Michelin star rated chef Alfons Schuhbeck offers a realm of gourmet experiences on Munich’s ‘Platzl’ (plaza) – including two restaurants, an ice cream parlour, a chocolaterie and a tea store. The heart of his culinary empire is the spice shop, with its blend of aromatic opulence and creative finesse transforming the interior into an Oriental wonderland of flavour creations from all over the world, illuminated with pinpoint precision by highly efficient ERCO LED lighting tools with neutral white and warm white light.

The design objectives for the fresh look of Alfons Schuhbeck’s spice shop at Munich’s ‘Platzl’ required the creation of an ambience that captures the fire of the Orient, modelled on the exotic allure of Asia. Built in 2003, the flagship store reopened in 2013 offering an opulent shopping experience on two levels with a total floor space of around 300sqm. No other Schuhbeck store presents its fine products as elaborately as the flagship store in Munich’s city centre. Following the style of an Oriental bazaar, artisans and artists worked to create an interior adorned with ceiling and wall paintings, furniture and sculptures, columns and domes, all ornately gilded and designed to transport patrons to the far-off lands and exotic cities where the spices were sourced. Hundreds of well-stocked and fragrant spices in bulk bins enable the customer to scoop individual quantities into little bags. Schuhbeck’s proprietary spice mixes are also available in small jars displayed in cabinets and shelves lining the walls, alongside the dried fruit, nuts, various salts and salt and sugar mixes.

Schuhbecks Gewürze, Munich

The ceilings depicting a cloudy sky in white and blue feature Quintessence recessed downlights that remain virtually invisible to the customer, providing uniform ambient lighting with efficient glare control in the shop. Their warm white light emphasises the fine wood flooring as beautifully as the wood and gold tones of the elegant furnishing.

Schuhbecks Gewürze, Munich

The crux of the design is the dynamic combination of light colours, using warm white and neutral white for aspects such as the vertical murals up the staircase: The lower section of the painting, showing an oriental city in sand and earth tones, is illuminated with Optec (3000K), the blue sky in the upper section is enhanced with Optec (4000K).

Schuhbecks Gewürze, Munich

The light of Optec reflecting off the gold detailing in Schuhbeck’s world of fine spices casts an almost golden glow on the spotlights’ silver finish.

Fascinating scenic lighting using only two light colours: warm white in dialogue with neutral white

The perception-orientated lighting concept for effective product presentation combines accent lighting with vertical illuminance using ERCO LED spotlights and downlights. Their spectrum of colours and textures is as wide and varied as the selection of spices and ingredients in Schuhbeck’s world of spices, which explains the primary focus on true-to-nature colour rendering in the lighting design. The ERCO LED lighting tools used in the shop – Optec spotlights and Quintessence downlights in warm white at 3000K – guarantee optimal colour rendering (RA ≥ 90) as a standout attribute and unique selling point. The ceilings feature Quintessence recessed downlights that remain virtually invisible to the customer, providing uniform ambient lighting with efficient glare control in the shop. Their warm white light emphasises the fine wood flooring as beautifully as the wood and gold tones of the elegant furnishing . In contrast, the neutral white light (4000K) of the Optec spotlights, discreetly mounted above the furniture and cabinets, illuminates the white and blue sky painted on the ceiling, making the room feel more spacious. A choreography of both light colours stages objects, such as the murals up the staircase, for a true visual experience: The lower section of the painting, showing an oriental city in sand and earth tones, is effectively illuminated using Optec warm white spotlights with flood lens, while neutral white downlights with spot light distribution accentuate individual clouds in the seemingly endless blue sky above, a narrow spot beam of Optec neutral white light breaking through the clouds like a ray of sunshine. It is this dialogue of neutral white and warm white light, implemented entirely with Optec spotlights, that sets the cool shades of the blue sky painted on the ceiling in stark contrast to the warm, earthy tones of the furniture and spices, by ensuring optimal illumination of relevant features using the perfect colour of light. The result creates an effect reminiscent of an Oriental bazaar.

Schuhbecks Gewürze, Munich

In the Schuhbeck shop, a customer helps herself to spices from the bins. A single Optec spotlight with oval flood distribution is enough to illuminate this whole section, with an elongated beam minimising the number of spotlights required, thereby contributing to a sense of calm in the design as well as lower operating costs.

Minimum number of ERCO spotlights thanks to optimised light distributions

In versions with different light distributions, the LED spotlights meet all the requirements of superior lighting for shops and product presentations. Specific emphasis given to individual areas of the room minimises the number of luminaires required for efficient illumination, leading to significant savings in maintenance and operating costs. The rows of spices displayed in self-service bins along the walls, for example, are effectively enhanced using a single Optec spotlight with oval flood lens focused on each section. Meticulous positioning of the spotlights ensures that the customer remains outside the oval beam that illuminates the spice bins with pinpoint precision.
The ERCO lighting tools illuminating Alfons Schuhbeck’s spice emporium create separate zones, facilitate orientation and set the product in this oriental world of spices in the best light. ERCO spotlights and downlights combine to offer an incredibly efficient lighting solution designed to present the shop’s 1001 spices in a professional and eye-catching style.

 
Schuhbecks Gewürze, Munich

About the author

Kristina Raderschad has run an editorial office in Cologne since 2005. A qualified interior designer (Dipl.-Ing.), her articles, reports and interviews on architecture and design are published worldwide – in magazines such as AD Architectural Digest, A&W, ELLE DECORATION, HÄUSER, MARK or WALLPAPER*.

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