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A civic center bathed in light
9/19/2013
A glass roof supplies daylight to the sculptural atrium. Photo: © David Matthiessen

With its sculptural atrium, the town hall in Bad Aibling, Upper Bavaria, opens out onto the urban landscape. Behnisch Architekten replaced an administrative building there dating from the 1970s with a new building radiating transparency and openness. What makes the atrium so pleasantly bright and cheerful is its glass roof, the way that its walls reflect the light, not to mention its intelligent, low-energy lighting concept with LED lighting by Nimbus.

Relying on the foundations of the old building, for the new construction the architects opted for a light concrete frame with timber walls and characteristic timber panels for its facade. They designed the adjacent Marienplatz square using a light granite surface that runs through the building itself like a public path. The objective of this was to make the edifice attractive to urban life and transform the atrium into a meeting place.

Civic amenities, the public library, the civil registry office’s wedding chamber, offices and meeting rooms are arranged on the individual floors; there is also a café and shops, making for a lively environment. “At the end of the day, buildings should be designed in such a way that people are glad to spend time in them,” explains Robert Hösle of Behnisch Architekten. “Artificial lighting and daylight play a fundamental part in this. Ideally, they should complement each other.” At the town hall, this works very well. A light management system ensures that the lights switch off when there is enough daylight. The ceiling lights used, from Nimbus’ Modul Q 100 range anyway make for a good energy balance. This flat lighting made of translucent acrylic glass consumes only 21 watts per unit. And in the offices, Nimbus’ cost-effective Office Air LEDs standard lamps even switch themselves off when the last person leaves in the evening.

A glass roof supplies daylight to the sculptural atrium. Photo: © David Matthiessen
The impressive stairway takes visitors to the various public zones. Photo: © David Matthiessen
Three generous glass walls-cum-openings connect the town hall with the urban world outside. Photo: © David Matthiessen
The light surfaces of the walls reflect the daylight and that provided by Nimbus’ square LED luminaires. Photo: © David Matthiessen
The public library makes the town hall interesting – even for the youngest residents of Bad Aibling. Photo: © David Matthiessen
The reading café in the library. Here too, the characteristic square LED lighting by Nimbus makes for a pleasant, bright environment. Photo: © David Matthiessen
The balustrades of the stairway are echoed in the counters and the shelving in the individual rooms. Photo: © David Matthiessen
Bad Aibling’s Marienplatz square and its town hall, redesigned by Behnisch Architekten. Photo: © David Matthiessen

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