What initially might sound impossible has been invented in Switzerland: a way to provide house owners, hotels or hospitals with an additional floor and thus more living or working space.
This is thanks to the worldwide patented, Swiss-made daylight shafts from Heliobus® that flood basement rooms with daylight. 20 times more than with normal light wells. Diffuse lighting is already enough. In this way, you pretty much gain an additional floor of living or working space, which can be used as an office, wellness area, or other working spaces.
- up to 20 x more daylight
- Fits every shaft
- More living space
How it works:
A mirrored module will be added to your existing light well.
Each module is custom-made and therefore can be made to fit in any shaft.
Assembly only takes a few hours.
Your room will be flooded with real daylight and you even have a view of outside.
Thanks to the ventilation frames, the basement is also provided with plenty of fresh air.
Basement Spa Area
The GAIA Hotel was faced with the challenge of turning its unused basement into something special for its guests. Hotel management opted for a spa area. As the space was rather small, they looked for lighting that would make it look large and bright. They quickly decided to use daylight as a light source. The space is now flooded with daylight thanks to several Heliobus® daylight shafts. Guests only have positive things to say about this spa area, located in the heart of the city in Basel.
Interview with Nathalie Durrer-Geyer and Selinda Geyer the two Co-Directors of the GAIA Hotel
Recently you had a renovation at the hotel. What was the occasion?
We had a basement room of almost 70 m², which was used as a storage room, however, as such it was too big. We had long considered, what we could make out of it.
We came to the conclusion that whatever we're looking for, this room should benefit our Guests. Only two things were eligible: a fitness or wellness room.
The wellness idea fit better to our concept. Wellness contributes to serenity, to well-being and to a good physical condition. For the Well-being of our guests the wellness area includes a Sauna, luxury showers, a Kneipp basin, a relaxation room and a treatment room.
What are the architectural Challenges of your hotel?
Our house consists of three building parts, in which one of these is a protected monument. The premises of historical houses of course were not designed for the use of modern building technology. Also it can be possible, that plans, both building plans as well as plans of public space, do not correspond to the circumstances. You have to be prepared for everything as a builder.
Why did you choose daylight as the light source and decided therefore consequently against artificial light?
To make the spa for the Guest comfortable, we realized
that it would hardly feasible with artificial light, despite the technical developments. The sunlight or daylight is simply unbeatable.
Our goal was to provide the guest the comfort of a room upstairs.
They should not have the feeling staying in the cellar.
The artificial light should only take over a decorative function.
The spa is flooded with daylight through
special modules. How did you find out about this system?
Our architect Roland Oberli, who ran the project, knew the system of daylight shafts from Heliobus® and had organized for us a demonstration.
We were invited to sit in a commercial vehicle. On one side we sat there and
on the other side we could see two closed windows.
At first one window was opened, which had no module. The room remained more or less dark, as you would expect from cellar shafts. Then
the second window was opened. Although the weather was cloudy, the daylight almost blinded us. We were very surprised and had not expected such a Impact. Because we have planned with five of these modules, we had even considered, to provide the windows with curtains, thereby the wellness area
will not be too bright.
How did your expectations have been met
and what is the added value
of the Spa lit with natural light?
The installation of the five modules has proven itself as the Guest has absolutely not the impression to be in the basement area. The Storage room was not only upgraded through the additional service for the guest, but also in the substance itself.
What feedback do you receive from your customers for this Spa?
Our guests are pleasantly surprised, because they do not expect such a high-quality wellness area in a hotel near station.
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Potsdamer Platz, Berlin - Daylight In The Train Station
In this international project, the challenge was to flood the interior of the station at Potsdamer Platz with natural light. Thanks to the Heliobus® Light Pipe, this problem was solved brilliantly: it is not only bright in the basement, but also an architectural highlight for tourists and residents.
This listed building is in a prime location on the edge of the Bosphorus. Many of the interior rooms could not be provided with adequate daylight. A close collaboration between the architect and Heliobus daylight engineers led to the creation of a lightpipe that stretches over four storeys. This supplies the dark rooms with daylight, and its aesthetically pleasing design looks just as good by night.