The island of Ufenau, with its medieval church buildings, is a place of quietness and contemplation. Here, the carefully restored “Zu den Zwei Raben” guesthouse also radiates a pleasant peace. It was extensively refurbished to its original form and combined with an atmospheric colour concept. Custom-made PUNTO lamps from RIBAG fit in perfectly.
Built in 1681, the guesthouse is a cultural landmark of national importance and was in dire need of refurbishment. The Einsiedeln Abbey was looking for a feasible solution for the building. The contract was given to Roskothen Architekten in Rapperswil.
Architect Roskothen Architekten SIA Klaus-Gebert-Strasse 5, Atelier 02 8640 Rapperswil
Lighting Design Lichtfokus AG Rathausstrasse 11, 8640 Rapperswil
Photos Frank Roskothen
“The project was developed in three stages,” says Frank Roskothen, looking back to the beginning. “In 2013, the Federal Commission for the Protection of Nature and Cultural Heritage was our primary contact because we first needed the green light from the monument conservation side. The next step was drafting the construction project and getting it approved, and only then were we able to work on the project in detail.” In terms of architecture, the main goal was to carefully restore the guesthouse and its annexe (also protected) and to supplement them with modest new buildings.
During the renovation, the foundational materials were restored to their original state using traditional craft techniques. This meant, for example, that the ceilings were reconstructed and then the facades were treated with old plastering techniques. The architect added a delicate canopy and a barbecue to the main building. “It should be easy to recognise the time period when looking at the new buildings,” emphasises the architect, referencing the special materialisation of these elements: burnished brass. A surface that plays an important role inside the guesthouse as well. Primarily in the PUNTO ceiling lamps. “It was important to me that the lamps are simple but also have an expressiveness in their form,” says Roskothen. Together with lighting designer Marcel Hotz, involved in the project from the start, he developed a lighting concept and designed an iteration of the PUNTO lamp that is custom-made specifically for these spaces.
“The goal was to create an intimate lighting atmosphere and a flexible furnishing concept. To achieve this, the lateral light from the PUNTO luminaires was reduced and the lamps were given more significance as objects,” says lighting designer Hotz. Calculations and visualisations allowed them to test the expected result. “This does not generate an image but instead depicts the light distribution in the room, which then needs to be interpreted. Therefore, it is an advantage if the architect has an understanding of light,” emphasises Hotz. A cardboard model of the special cylindrical housing was then made, assessed on site, and optimised.
Finally, the metalworker crafted the almost 3 mm thick piece of metal. “We needed a specialist for that,” said the lighting designer. “The lamp housing needed to be perfect, with almost invisible seams and a beautiful burnished brass surface that looks like bronze.” The RIBAG specialist then built the module technology into the housing. The lighting colour can be variably set between 2700 and 4000 Kelvin, and the lamps can also be controlled remotely. “There are not many companies that are open to custom designs like this,” says Hotz, “but RIBAG knew exactly how to implement our idea.” RIBAG even designed the entire Draft & Craft Collection for this purpose, for customised lighting solutions. In the “Zu den Zwei Raben” guesthouse, the 28 ceiling lamps emphasise simple yet powerful visual accents and put the lovingly renovated spaces in the proper light.