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Reading and learning in the best light: Bartenbach's user-centered lighting for the Düsseldorf Library

Reading and learning in the best light: Bartenbach's user-centered lighting for the Düsseldorf Library

Guiding visitors through the rooms in the best possible way and supporting them in their visual tasks: The huge areas of Düsseldorf's new central library were the most important challenges for Bartenbach's lighting designers. The aim was to bring sufficient light into the interior of the building. With tact and a variety of creative solutions, the team has created lighting that both meets functional requirements and creates a unique atmosphere.
More than 300,000 books and media, 600 workstations for students and apprentices, a café, a music studio and a separate children's and youth area: The Düsseldorf Central Library in the premises of the old post office building at the main train station is the size of two football pitches on top of each other - and offers space for numerous cultural activities and events. However, the sheer size of the building also results in little daylight. A challenge that the lighting designers met with a creative, human-centered concept – which is also particularly flexible and considers future possible uses. 


Flexible use, appealing atmosphere 

Through a light-flooded entrance hall, visitors can take elevators to the public areas of the library on the second and third floors of the building. Once on the second floor, a light installation greets readers like a starry sky. Instead of a continuous grid, Bartenbach deliberately opted for a natural arrangement of the light points. This gives the room a certain lightness and creates a pleasant, inspiring atmosphere as soon as you enter the library. 


Perform visual tasks effortlessly 
The bookshelves on the surface, on the other hand, are illuminated by an evenly gridded lighting solution. It ensures that the shelves are optimally illuminated – and that users can read all book titles effortlessly. Bartenbach paid particular attention to the reading areas, which encourages visitors to browse and leaf through. Directional light provides targeted lighting that relieves the eyes and increases reading pleasure. 


Books in the spotlight 
Books are the focus of the entire design, and light underlines their importance in the library. In order to consciously draw attention to the multitude of media and publications, the lighting experts at Bartenbach have exclusively illuminated the bookshelves. The ceilings are intentionally left in the shade. The effect: The books are visually highlighted and come to the fore.


Flexible use of space, flexible lighting 
Since the library's furniture can be used flexibly in the room, the lighting should also be particularly flexible: Bartenbach chose a lighting solution that can be easily adapted and replaced. Some luminaires are mounted on a track – and can therefore be repositioned again and again. 


Light creates orientation in space 
A highlight of the library is its corridor, the floor of which reflects the light and thus offers visual guidance. This clever design draws attention and elegantly guides visitors through the room. 

To round off the plans, Bartenbach had lines of light integrated into the ground that mark a blue footpath. This creates the impression of natural light coming from the windows. Visitors can orient themselves and are guided safely through the corridors along the flow of light. 


A children's library for little readers
In order to make reading a special experience, especially for the youngest – and to introduce children to library use in a playful way, Bartenbach has equipped the children's library with special lighting features: round luminaires have been installed in this area that represent a sun and emit both diffuse and directional light. This creates a particularly pleasant atmosphere. Another visual eye-catcher is a wooden tree in which individual rods are illuminated. This creates a playful sparkle, and the tree becomes an eye-catcher in the room. 

Mirrored ceiling creates indirect lighting effect 

Visitors climb the eye-catching yellow staircase to the third floor where they are greeted by an aluminum ceiling that serves as a captivating focal point and enhances the overall aesthetic experience. The mirrored ceiling supports the lighting design by reflecting the artificial light. Due to the hidden lighting the result is an indirect lighting effect that bathes the library in a harmonious light and creates a pleasant atmosphere in the room.


Facilitating the acquisition of knowledge

Versatile, captivating – and highly functional: The lighting design for the Central Library Düsseldorf has once again proven to Bartenbach that the starting point for successful lighting always supports the users themselves as well as their needs. Thanks to the thoughtfully integrated lighting elements, a refuge for readers has been created, in which functionality and aesthetics intertwine. Conclusion: State-of-the-art lighting technology supports the library as the central room of our information society.