An historical building recently fully renovated, the perfect place for a coffee or a beer in the hart of Fribourg.
Lighting design project: Susanna Antico Lighting Design Studio
CLIENT City of Fribourg – Switzerland
The Cafe des Arcades building, located in the heart of old town Fribourg, is an important and beautiful facility.
There are many elements that play a role in making this location so unique and relevant: not only it is situated in the highest point of the place Notre Dame, thus being clearly visible from several vantage points, it also boasts proportions and architectural details that valorise the centre of the old town.
The building’s perimeter, a cultural and historical heritage, outlines the north and west limits of the place des Ormeaux, an important place for residents and visitors alike as a natural gathering point for those who love chatting, eating and drinking, both on the ground floor or on the upper floor of the Terrasse du Bletz.The balcony offers a privileged view of the cathedral and invites passers-by to stop there independently of the Cafe des Arcades.
The unique aesthetics help attract visitors by day and by night.
The lighting designer had to restate and enhance such aesthetics and the building’s geometry by creating a structure that would make all the important details visible and appealing to viewers, regardless of distance and viewing angle. The lighting also had to be both functional and pleasant enough to convince residents and visitors to spend time and money at the Café after the sun had set.
Although the Pavillon sports similar architectural details to the ground floor careful lighting reveals its different proportions. On the ground floor the lighting also shows the canopy line that separates the alcove openings from the arched windows, which constitute a single coherent visual unit together with the Pavillon.
Even when similar elements are being highlighted, different solutions were chosen in order to bring out the details that distinguish them from one another.
Architect Susanna Antico, as an experienced and qualified lighting designer, was tasked with highlighting the details of the building’s facades.
Her project involved the arched openings above the door and window frames on all the facades of the ground floor, the Pavillon windows and the pillars between them and the gables on the facades overlooking the place Notre Dame and the Terrasse du Bletz.
The lighting design project allows for a general perception of the building’s geometry and of its details at the same time, it also focuses on a functional soft diffused lighting for the spaces meant for clients, who must be able to sit outdoors, namely on the Terrasse du Bletz and along the façade of the building overlooking the place des Ormeaux.
The Terrasse du Bletz was fitted with with linear beams both embedded in the main structure of the railing on the balustrade and mounted on the railing’s supports, lighting up the area in an indirect and diffuse fashion and delimiting the building, a grazing light from inside the balcony lights up the balustrades, whose silhouettes are visible from the outside.
Here too in order to preserve coherence and visual continuity the lighting emphasizes the architectural features, even in spaces not initially meant for customers.
Lighting should be felt and not seen.
The lighting design schemes of the built environment are considered added values, in harmony and integration with the environment to be lit.