The office building of the “Lumenart” Company, which has been awarded with the Brick Award 2014, has been conceived as a white building with an unusual crystal shape.

Project details

Reference object

Office complex of the “Lumenart” Company, Pula, Croatia

Architect

Andrija Rusan / Rusan Arhitektura

Client

“Lumenart” Company

Lumenart, Pula, Croatia

Lumenart, Pula, Croatia

Lumenart, Pula, Croatia

Lumenart, Pula, Croatia

Lumenart

Lumenart, Pula, Croatia,

Lumenart, Pula, Croatia

Lumenart, Pula, Croatia

Lumenart, Pula, Croatia

Lumenart, Pula, Croatia

Lumenart, Pula, Croatia

Lumenart, Pula, Croatia

Shaped like a crystal

On the long eccentric coastal Veruda Road, the bright white building is a surprising sight. Here, not far from the harbour of Pula, in the midst of apartment blocks from former Yugoslavia, naval barracks, historicist villas, vineyards, pines and reeds, Dean Skira has placed his company headquarters, eccentrically shaped like a crystal. Skira is a lighting designer and head of Lumenart, the leading lighting company in Croatia and an innovative laboratory for lighting design in architecture and urban spaces.

The building was to reflect his company philosophy and long years of experience with light and architecture, but also meet his exacting demands by featuring clear spatial arrangements and rooms bathed in light. The outer skin is white, as are the interiors. Ideal for projections of all kinds. Only Skira’s office, overlooking the reeds and the marina, is subtly dimmed.

Healthy indoor climate

Even if it is a simple cube on a plinth, a functional building in the sense of a container of clay blocks, clad inside and out, Lumenart is a striking building. The building core of brick is the structure for the inner and outer shell, both of them autonomous elements. In Croatia, building with brick has enjoyed a long tradition. The material creates a healthier indoor climate than concrete does.

Architect Andrija Rusan, too, built his first house out of clay blocks, with his own hands. Skira had all the plans for the building core and the interior design finished; all he needed was the design of the building shell. So he called Rusan, a Zagreb-based architect with whom he has worked for years. The close friends are bound by their common love of creative work.

Born on a ferry

The extravagant shape was born spontaneously on a ferry in Dalmatia. Travelling from Split to Hvar, Skira and Rusan had a lively debate. In a restaurant soon afterwards, Rusan sketched his idea on a yellow serviette. The drawing with the crystal shape was done in minutes. It could have looked any number of ways, but both men were happy with this particular form, which touched the nerve of Skira’s aesthetic demands and saw Rusan turned into a sort of couturier. Wild, angled and eccentric, his design was a gown for “a true woman”, a dress for a diva. Rusan now counts Lumenart among his favourite projects. The crystal form demonstrates Rusan’s architectural philosophy of approaching a (constructional) task with relish, and generating creative solutions through inspiration and the greatest possible artistic freedom.

To turn the idea into the required geometric shapes was not easy, but the friends pulled it off. Light is a metaphor for energy. Lumenart suggests that the physical characteristics of light refraction have been made manifest and have been virtually magnified in a strictly geometric arrangement of structures – core/cube and skin/crystal. This wild diva plays homage to an eccentric client and an innovative lighting designer.

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