Bathing Under Atmospheric Light At A Lofty Altitude Bathing Under Atmospheric Light At A Lofty Altitude
A harmonious and sensitive lighting atmosphere for a spa world with panoramic views: Alpine Spa – Bürgenstock Resort, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland The Alpine Spa... Bathing Under Atmospheric Light At A Lofty Altitude

A harmonious and sensitive lighting atmosphere for a spa world with panoramic views: Alpine Spa – Bürgenstock Resort, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

The Alpine Spa – Bürgenstock Resort presents itself as an impressive retreat at an altitude of 1,100 meters and with a breathtaking view of Lake Lucerne in the heart of the Swiss Alps. The lighting concept designed by Licht Kunst Licht both delicately and effectively underlines the architectural interventions of the Berlin based architectural office Dierks & Sachs. In cooperation with plus4930 Architektur and the London based interior design practice MKV Design, the existing building, built in the 1950s, has been extended and lavishly renovated.

Spread over three levels and totaling 7,000 m2, the Alpine Spa extends an invitation to relax in an exclusive environment of indoor and outdoor pools, various saunas, cold and warm water basins, a room of silence, relaxation rooms, private spa suites, individual treatment rooms, a fitness area, and a restaurant.

About one hour’s drive from Zurich, the Alpine Spa – Bürgenstock Resort is located in a prominent position on the Bürgenberg amidst a picturesque landscape. After almost six years of construction and renovation, the resort now not only hosts a spa, but also two additional hotels in alpine seclusion with an elegant, luxurious ambience. The illumination of the outdoor facilities has also been developed by Licht Kunst Licht.

The guest first enters the spa through a tunnel mined deep into the mountain, which offers an invitation to explore the resort‘s history and surroundings in a temporary exhibition.

The illumination of the display cases on either side is partly integrated and partly occurring through adjustable spotlights. In addition to the exhibition lighting following the tunnel walls, focused light pools on the tunnel floor lead the way towards the elevators that take the guests to the spa world in the floors above.

Through the reception area and the changing rooms, guests enter the heart of the Alpine Spa – the indoor pool. The spacious room is flooded by ample natural light during the day. “During the evening hours and at night, the pool wall recessed underwater luminaires turn the water surface into a shimmering source of light and thus create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere“, explains project manager Martina Weiss (Licht Kunst Licht). She goes on to elaborate: “In order to meet the changing requirements over the course of the day, we have created three light scenes: day, dusk, and evening.“ Wall sconces on the steel columns flanking the pool add rhythm to the space through ambient direct and indirect light. The texture of the historical massive stone masonry walls on the other hand is gently emphasized by graze lighting.

A connection stair case leads down to the sauna area’s cold and warm water basins and relaxation rooms. A trickling water wall flanks the stair flight and creates a delightful play of light by being highlighted with narrow-beam surface mounted luminaires.

“Particularly in the sauna area, indirect illumination through light coves and integrated lighting elements are used to offer the guests the greatest possible comfort“, Martina Weiss explains, illustrating the significance of the gentle warm light for a harmonious and calming backdrop in the spa. For the numerous cold and warm water basins, a custom designed sophisticated tread detail was developed with integrated illumination. The imperviousness and resistance to chlorinated water represented a particular challenge.

The interaction of old and new

Contrasting with the massive stone masonry walls of the historical building, the architects developed a copper and zinc sheet metal facade for parts of the new extension building, shimmering gold when interacting with light and adding freshness and airiness to the spa building. The spa‘s exterior appearance after dusk is entirely the result of a carefully tuned indoor illumination, that stands out against the night sky through the generous glass surfaces.

For the entire resort site, a custom luminaire was developed based on the former, historical pole luminaires. Timelessly designed solid bronze pole fixtures in two sizes accompany the pathways and driveways throughout the resort grounds. Through a series of several mock-ups, a special light optic with the use of a bronze mesh was developed, which shows the visitor the way with extremely warm and friendly light.

Project:                  Alpine Spa – Bürgenstock Resort, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland

Client:                    Katara Hospitality

Architect:               Patrik Dierks Norbert Sachs Architekten, Berlin

with plus4930 Architektur, Berlin

Interior Design:      MKV Design, London

Lighting Design:    Licht Kunst Licht AG,

Project- and team lead: Martina Weiss

Project team: Martina Weiss, Isabel Sternkopf,

Naiara Caballero

Completion:           2017

Project size:           7,000 sqm

Photos:                  Johannes Roloff

List of luminaires and manufacturers

Downlights: Artemide – Rastaf 86

Column mounted luminaire – indoor pool: Bega – 66516

Curtain lighting – room of silence: XAL – Jane ceiling led

Recessed linear lights – fitness: Selux – M36

Showcase lighting – tunnel, hair and nail: XAL – Nano turn

Surface-mounted luminaire – staircase: Hoffmeister – gin.o 2

Recessed underwater wall lights – indoor pool: Wibre – 4.0199

Wall recessed luminaire – rockshowers: Lucifer Lighting – ISL-2-ALED

Column mounted luminaire – tunnel: Reggiani – Yori Wall

Wall mounted luminaire – garden: Bega – 66649

Bollard luminaire – garden: Vibia- Brisa

Bollard luminaire – garden: Bega – 77234

Spike-mounted luminaires – vegetation, garden: iGuzzini – Miniwoody


Licht Kunst Licht is an international lighting design office, with offices in Bonn, Berlin, and Barcelona. With an enormous portfolio comprising of over 800 completed projects, many having received the most prestigious honors and awards, Licht Kunst Licht is seen as one of the world’s most successful specialists in lighting. In addition to the planning and design of artificial light, the team also includes specialists dedicated to daylight and product design.

Over 500 book and magazine publications, and a collection of four personally published books to date, document Licht Kunst Licht’s extensive field of activity.

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