Givaudan – Zurich Innovation Center

Atrium set to perfection

Illuminating striking architecture is genuinely exciting. Should the lighting be the centre of focus or should it support the architecture? At Givaudan, both aspects have been achieved. With two new, slightly offset structures and the existing building, a three-storey atrium has been created, which is both an access zone and a hallmark of identity at the same time. Givaudan is a global player in the fragrances and flavourings sector, and this centrepiece of its Zurich Innovation Center serves as a meeting place and a space for employees to relax and regenerate. Visitors can also enjoy the light-flooded room.

Tracing with light

How has it been possible to trace the lines of the striking architectural elements in the atrium - in particular the balustrades of the ramp-like staircases and the galleries below the three skylights? After an in-depth evaluation of the architectural details, it soon became clear, to meet the specific requirements of this project, that a custom-made version of MINO would be ideal for implementation of the concept and for this building. Alongside the very strict alignment of lines in the laboratory areas, organic lines of light were required in the atrium.

The EDGE wall edge light was found to be a suitable product for the pillars, which form a rhythmic pattern along the grid of the atrium façade. This is a linear counterpart to Curve, and adds to the unified look.


The architectural requirements were fulfilled by MINO 60 and MINO 60 Curve. Minor deviations in the radii in the atrium were not a big issue. As the building was still in the design phase, it was possible for the architects to quickly adapt the building radii to the profile of Curve. “That was one of the great moments in the life of a lighting designer,” according to Julia Hartmann. “I don’t expect to see architects adapting their building design to the luminaire structure ever again.”

Go to product

Daylight mixes with illuminated scenes


The Tunable White version has been implemented for optimum lighting in the atrium. In addition to being used as a place of recreation and meeting for the employees, the atrium is also used for exhibitions and events. In order to cover the versatile use as best as possible, a variety of illuminated light scenes were programmed in addition to a daylight simulation.

Tangible added value

“This increase in complexity made the project even more challenging for all those involved,” explains Julia Hartmann. “The sequence of the organic lines of light, with their contour ends and transitions going from round to square, was already special enough. But it was also necessary to synchronise the Tunable White solution with the building control system. In this phase, therefore, the cooperation between XAL and the specialists in building management was particularly intensive. But it all paid off in the end. The final lighting solution gives tangible added value for employees and visitors.”


Julia Hartmann gained early valuable experience in lighting design during her interior design course in Coburg and later on during her work with a number of well-known lighting design agencies. In 2014 she founded her own lighting design office in Zurich. One of the experiences she still has in sight to accomplish in her free time is to: “Travel to the far north and experience the northern lights live.”

To the website
 Julia Hartmann, Lighting Designer, lightsphere
Julia Hartmann, Lighting Designer, lightsphere


Architect: Bauart Architekten und Planer AG
Lighting Design: lightsphere Gmbh