Low Profile Lighting

Opus by Apure

While home renovators generally pay close attention to the colour of their walls and the artwork that they hang, as well as the layout of their furniture and their floor plans, the ceiling can sometimes be forgotten. In fact, most people so rarely take the time to stop and consider what’s happening right above their heads that they fall into two common pitfalls.

The first frequent problem is to rely overmuch on recessed lights, either through poor placement or by simply adding far too many into any given space. This is especially sad as installations are permanent and hard to fix after the fact. But even if the recessed cans or pot lights are used more sparingly, a second problem often occurs. The ceiling gets sliced into several more times, first for the installation of HVAC vents, and then again for other home system elements such as speakers or security cameras. By the time all of this is finished, many ceilings are left looking like nothing so much a piece of cheese with holes in it.

Recognizing this phenomenon, sometimes referred to as the “Swiss cheese effect,” German lighting company Apure designed an innovative and stylish solution.

Image 1: Tantus by Apure
Image 2: Tantus by Apure

Image 1: Tantus Lac by Apure
Image 2: Clarus by Apure

Apure offers an integrated system that allows for lighting, HVAC, sound, and security elements to all be installed together. The linear orientation of their design blends well with the architectural environment. The lighting source itself is round, and mounted on a louver. The louver is the only visible element and thus the key design piece of the system. Milled from a solid block of aluminum, it is then given a very high quality finish. The completed look is streamlined and nearly invisible, leaving the ceiling almost entirely intact.

The lighting offered by the Apure system has been rigorously developed to reduce both glare and heat. The actual aperture is much smaller than a typical recessed can light. These feats of engineering and design were in part made possibly through the company’s affiliation with Porsche.

Apure joined forces with Porsche in 2014, and their union has garnered Ret Dot awards, European Design Awards, and many other accolades. According to Roland Heiler, Chief Design Officer of Porsche Design, the match was seamless and almost instantly successful, as both companies allow function to lead the direction of their design, and both are proud to have their products manufactured domestically.

“Lighting is key in modern architecture,” Heiler says. “The most important thing about lighting in interior spaces is the mood the light creates. And of course, the object that creates the light.”

The companies are currently collaborating on several other products, which they hope to release in the future.

“I believe in the idea of future,” said architect Zaha Hadid. The first woman to ever receive the coveted Pritzker Prize, Hadid’s buildings are world-famous. She broke barriers and redefined ideas of what is possible with her outrageous and controversial designs. It is not surprising, then, that one of her final projects, the One Thousand Museum residential building in Miami, features the innovate lighting system from Apure.

Due to be completed in early 2018, One Thousand Museum will be Miami’s most prestigious new building, and will be the first residential skyscraper by Hadid in the western hemisphere. Built upon a coveted property that overlooks Museum Park, featuring breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, this tower brings together Hadid’s visionary architecture with an unprecedented level of extraordinary amenities and service.

The goal of One Thousand Museum is to emphasize the best features of the architecture, using both light and shadow. They consciously evoke Sylvia Plath’s line from The Bell Jar: “I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.” Through the curation of thousands of details, each floor is given a unique character, often aiming lights from unexpected locations or using the latest technologies to complement the futuristic feel of the building. An overall organic shape is achieved by highlighting the edges as they meet the massive structure.

Exterior of One Thousand Museum

Interior of One Thousand Museum

After sunset, the building is transformed by the crisp vibrancy of the Apure lighting. The striking effect turns the building into the silhouette of an elegant and stylish woman dressed perfectly for a night out at the museum.

Whether the application is a residential home, an office, or a world-class tower like One Thousand Museum, the Apure integrated lighting system offers innovative and dynamic solutions to longstanding lighting design issues. Saving ceilings from the appearance of Swiss cheese, the sleek system is always a perfect fit.

Credits //

Photography c/o Alice Gao, Richard Powers & Zaha Hadid Architects

Words by Matthew J Trafford