Work, relax and enjoy: the Buntweberei in Eislingen

Photos: Linus Lintner

Situated on a former industrial site in the Swabian town of Eislingen, the Buntweberei represents a new complex that combines leisure activities, cafés and restaurants with a state-of-the-art office campus. Artemide worked with project developer Filippo Salvia to create a holistic lighting concept which achieves an elegant fusion of aesthetics and functionality.

All his life, Filippo Salvia had been aware of the area of wasteland that once housed the Wurster textile factory. Fabric was still being produced here in the seventies but after that the site, measuring some 10,000 square metres, had only been put to sporadic use. For years, the owning family had been looking for a new, sustainable way to utilise the site. “I contacted the Wurster family in 2017 and we put our heads together to think about what could be done with the plot”, explains Salvia, entrepreneur, investor and visionary behind the project. “I was captivated by the idea of building office space alongside a lifestyle hotel plus cafés, restaurants and leisure activities. I imagined a modern campus with historic charm where people would be able to work and enjoy a good life.”

This eventually led to a concept developed by Salvia in tandem with the Heilbronn-based architectural practice Krummlauf, Teske, Happold. Most of the buildings were newly built but the old boiler house was comprehensively renovated and repurposed as an event location. The former millstream was also integrated into the project, forming an inviting esplanade for casual strolling. Two prominent personalities joined forces with Salvia to bring their ideas to the Buntweberei: ex-national handball player Michael “Mimi” Kraus operates the “Nice Fitness & Spa” and fashion influencer Karo Kauer has her head office there as well as a boutique and a café. When project developer Salvia was looking for the right lighting, Artemide was his first choice. A close cooperation with the traditional Italian manufacturer led to the development of a holistic lighting design that plays a key role in the overall atmosphere of the site.

Tolomeo Mega Wall, Vector

Industrial design meets glass art

The Loom Hotel is the most striking building in the Buntweberei: six storeys high, it towers over the whole site while a glazed Sky Bar also offers panoramic views of the Filstal valley. Inside, the industrial heritage of the old weaving mill has been specially enhanced with modern style elements. In the entrance to the building, Tolomeo Mega in elegant black makes an immediate design statement. The floor and wall lamps are complemented by Nur by Artemide founder Ernesto Gismondi. Their shades have been kept in a special rust colour as a deft reference to industrial design. The parabolic pendant lamps with their geometric calibrated lines form a subtle presence and drench the lobby in a soft light. Gople pendant lights hang in the stairwell that leads up to the Sky Bar. Designed by the fashionable Danish architectural practice Bjarke Ingels Group, these glass lamps combine traditional Venetian glass-blowing skills with a clear, purist design. Their warm light stands in elegant contrast to the cool exposed concrete of the stairwell to reinforce the stylish atmosphere.

Nur, Vector
Nur, Vector
O, Tolomeo Paralume Outdoor

Work, lifestyle and relaxation

In the “Nice - Fitness & Spa Club” of Mimi Kraus it is once again the rust-coloured Nur lights that catch the eye. Efficient and purist Vector spotlights are aimed at the training equipment to create the ideal lighting conditions for a personal fitness programme. The Kids’ Club, on the other hand, is lit by Giò, with the many small pendant lamps in black and white generating an upbeat mood. From the loungers in the relaxation rooms of the spa facility, you can look up to the sky through the circular O lamps. At twilight, in particular, the lighting designed by Pritzker award winner Alejandro Aravena creates a magical ambience. Just a few steps further on is the Tolomeo Paralume, the outdoor version of this design classic, whose homely light transforms the green outdoor seating area into a haven of rest and relaxation.

nh 35 Suspension
nh S4 Circulare

The “Restaurant im Kesselhaus”, housed in a new extension adjacent to the historic boiler house, is also fitted out with Artemide products. All along the bar counter hangs a string of nh pendant lamps designed by Neri&Hu. They stand out for their hand-blown glass spheres, which hang on elegant hooks made of brushed brass and give out a warm light. The work surface of the counter is lit by Vector spotlights for optimal task lighting. Both designs are repeated elsewhere in the restaurant: the Vector spotlights for general lighting and the nh S4 Circulaire as stylish accent lamps. Their glass spheres are in turn picked up in the back section by the Dioscuri ceiling lamps. The hand-blown glass lamps of Michele de Lucchi also light the tables in the outdoor area.

In the floor above the restaurant, where conference rooms are available to hire, the otherwise plain and simple office environment is enriched by Discovery Vertical in stylishly arranged ensembles. Ernesto Gismondi’s designer piece forms an eye-catching scenographic element here: transparent when off, the minimalistic lamp is flooded with homogenous light as soon as it is switched on.


A.24, Eggboard
Discovery Vertical, Vector

Flexible office spaces, clean light structures

On the other side of the millstream are the company headquarters of Salvia Gebäudetechnik and the “Kubus – Meet‘n’Work” facility: a co-working space with fully equipped office spaces, which can be hired on a flexible basis. Linking cubicles and mobile standing tables and desks facilitate the workflow and encourage congenial exchanges. The clean, geometric A.24 lighting structures are also mobile and dynamic. The system designed by Carlotta de Bevilacqua is directly geared to suit the surrounding architecture: whether it is round, linear or coiled, the various light modules and magnetic spotlights shine the light exactly where it is needed.

Next door, in the company headquarters, visitors are met by the illuminated name “Salvia”, created using the letters from the Alphabet of Light system by the Bjarke Ingels Group. The open-plan office spaces benefit from perfect work lighting in all areas. Various carefully arranged lamps form aesthetic compositions of direct, indirect and diffuse light, featuring A.24 and the AoL versions Circular and Linear. A prominent and eye-catching feature is the Eggboard by Progetto CMR-Giacobone & Roj: finished in a fresh spring green, these acoustic lamps with integrated noise protection set an incisive tone in the office ambience with its exposed concrete and glass. Silent Field completes the reduced colour palette in the break rooms through specific black and white contrasts – and is also carefully positioned in the space to guarantee optimal noise absorption.

Alphabet of Light
Eggboard, A.24 Sharping
A.24, Silent Field 2.0

Efficient energy management

As well as the aesthetic considerations, Filippo Salvia and Artemide set great store by an efficient sustainability and energy concept. “By controlling the lighting via our own app we keep the energy consumption extremely low”, explains the project developer. “A digital twin of the premises records precisely how much energy is being used and where. Each lamp can be programmed and adjusted using this data. Altogether, the combination of heat pumps, photovoltaic cells and energy management that we have designed for the Buntweberei is proving to be a successful, sustainable solution.”

Filippo Salvia is thus highly delighted with the overall results: “As a trained electrician with a secret passion for light, I know how important the lighting is for a building. It often makes the difference as to whether or not we feel comfortable in a place. We therefore knew it was important to integrate a lighting design into the entire Buntweberei that would be a harmonious combination of design awareness, sustainability criteria and well-being.”