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Iphofen Service Centre, Iphofen, Germany

Wine and architecture: illumination of the historic Old Town of Iphofen

In Iphofen a large part of the old town district has been modernised. Lighting with LED technology from ERCO underlines the picturesque character of the Franconian wine town. Whilst grazing light accentuates the craftsmanship of the historic buildings, light accents emphasise striking elements on the new buildings.

Iphofen, a small town near to Würzburg in Germany has been known for many centuries for its winemaking. For approximately 20 years both the public sector and local companies such as Knauf Gips KG based in the town have increasingly invested in "wine & architecture". The aim is to use architecture to create a context-based wine experience. Historic buildings were upgraded for the purpose and have been supplemented with modern buildings and accompanying leisure opportunities. For sample, the wine house inaugurated in 2000 connects an existing heritage building with a steel and glass annex. On the other hand, the historic vineyard with its three terraces offers a comparison of how viticulture appeared in the Middle Ages, around 1800 and in 1960.

An area of approximately 4,000 square metres was also recently redesigned to further revitalize the town centre. The project consisted of eight mainly historic buildings. The Michaelskapelle (St. Michaels Chapel) was built around 1380 and the parish church of St. Veit constructed in the period 1414 to 1612. The Town Hall (1716 – 1718), the Rödelseer Tor (1455-1466) and the Old School (1878) were also upgraded. In the past few years a library, office building and connecting structure have also been recently constructed. “For towns that are attractive to live in, it's important to provide appealing town centres which offer a high quality lifestyle," explained the architect Reinhold Jäcklein. "It's here that the correct utilisation of light plays an important role."
The challenge for the lighting design was to present the various buildings according to their architecture as well as a complete ensemble. Another factor was that most lighting tools are in pedestrian areas and must not cause glare for passers-by. "Squares and buildings can be evaluated to different degrees in accordance with their importance and use – lighting sets accents and creates atmosphere in this respect," summarised Jäcklein.

Fundamentally the buildings are illuminated from the ground. The historic building facades are highlighted with uniform grazing light with wallwash and oval flood distributions. The modern buildings on the other hand are merely emphasised with light accents at focal points such as entrances and corners to provide orientation for visitors. Open areas and walkways are discreetly lit from above or from steps or railings. Projectors with high luminous flux levels and good glare control are directed on to the church tower. "The LED lighting enables pleasant light with very high energy efficiency and low maintenance costs," added Jäcklein. With regards to ERCO lighting tools the decision was taken to use Lightscan for the church tower, Tesis for the facades, Grasshopper for the open areas, orientation luminaires for the circulation areas – along the pavement steps for example – and Compact recessed luminaires for the entrance to the office building.

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