Located in Frankfurt, Germany’s banking district,Frankfurter Büro Center (FBC) office tower greets tenants and visitors underneath a SEFAR LIGHTFRAME® system featured in its forecourt and foyer.
The LIGHTFRAME system was added to the building as part of a lobby renovation by project architect Just.Burgeff, seamlessly creating a new point of visual recognition for the FBC. As an added benefit, the uniform light distribution provided by the LIGHTFRAME system greatly improves security in the area at night.
“We developed the design to cover the forecourt and foyer of the FBC tower with a light ceiling,” says Malte Just, partner and architect at Just.Burgef. “SEFAR LIGHTFRAME gave us the clean and unique look we wanted without a complicated construction process.”
The LIGHTFRAME system connects the entrance to the glass-fronted café pavilion and foyer, where it continues as a light ceiling. The glazed café pavilion opposite the foyer gives the area spatial expression and divides it into two sections: at the front the forecourt onto the street and behind a quiet, open space in the distance.
This enables a display of light depending on the situation. By day, the varying intensity of light and position of the sun cast a shadow onto the underside of the porch canopy. When it is dark outside, the roof is illuminated from inside, lighting up the forecourt and increasing security. Within the foyer, the architects limited themselves to using only high-quality materials such as glass, brush-finished steel and the translucent membrane of the light ceiling.
SEFAR LIGHTFRAMEis a fabric framing system that was utilized to provide light diffusion and is suitable for indoor and outdoor use. The product minimizes shadows even with background lighting due to its half-elliptical profile. It features a dual wrinkle-free, high light-diffusing architectural fabrics biaxially stretched over a light, modular frame system. LIGHTFRAME’s unique secondary skin allows it to diffuse light and eliminate penetration of debris more effectively than other ceiling products.
“With LIGHTFRAME, the end result is flawless and conceals the construction behind it. The frame details and joints don’t show while the uniform light distribution, spacing and texture shine,” adds Just.
The individual LIGHTFRAMEmodules are stretched with SEFAR Architecture’s IA-80-OP PVDF interior light-transmitting fabric that facilitates 80% light transmission. The opaque fabric requires very little maintenance and resists UV rays, moisture and dirt. The dual skin system is airtight and eliminates penetration of dust and insects on the fabric membrane, which can inhibit the transference of light over time. LIGHTFRAMEmeets all fire code requirements and in the event of a fire, it produces very little smoke and dissipates instead of dripping.
The original design of the FBC office tower was conceived by Frankfurt-based architect Richard Heil in 1980. The lobby renovation was completed in spring 2007. Members of the project team included architect Just.Burgeff, Frankfurt, Germany, engineer Dr. Ing. S. Greiner, ArtEngineering GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany and installer Schmid GmbH, Simmerberg, Germany.