Amsterdam, The Netherlands / Dornbirn, Austria – As the New Year begins, Austrian lighting company Zumtobel Group is establishing a strong presence in one of the leading European centres of architecture and technology: Before January is out, the company, which is based in Austria, is to open a new “Lichtforum” (light forum) at the heart of Amsterdam. The new facility will be designed to act as an open house, facilitating dialogue and close collaboration with leading architects, lighting designers technology experts and research partners. The Lichtforum, which will be located on the top floor of the UP Building – one of the tallest office buildings in downtown Amsterdam – will also host a showroom for all three of the Group’s brands: Zumtobel, Thorn and Tridonic.
“Amsterdam is an extremely attractive location for our industry,” comments Zumtobel Group CEO Ulrich Schumacher. “As well as engaging in intensive dialogue with some of the world’s leading architects, at this international hub we will also be able to work alongside some exciting technology partners. Our declared aim in this era of the Internet of Things is to develop new and innovative business models in the field of lighting. In pursuit of this goal, our new Amsterdam Lichtforum with its international team will be an important innovation driver for Zumtobel Group as a whole.”
With this new concept for its Lichtforum facilities, Zumtobel Group is banking on open dialogue with its network partners. The Amsterdam Lichtforum will be hosting a year-round programme of attractive events themed around light and technology, architecture and urban planning. There will also be a new Zumtobel Group LightLAB, acting as an important incubator for innovations. Here, in-house designers and applications experts will work alongside partners from universities and technology firms on visionary projects. In addition, the Thorn brand will be setting up its own luminaire concept development team in Amsterdam, just an hour’s flight away from the brand’s main plant in Spennymoor in the north of England. By May 2015, Zumtobel Group is planning to recruit an international team of some 25 employees for the Amsterdam Lichtforum.
“In the age of LED technology we need to study the latest trends more closely than ever – be it in terms of new materials, software solutions, sensor technology or communications electronics. In the new LightLAB we have the ideal place to develop concepts for the future, for knowledge transfer and to inspire our development teams around the world. But we will also be realising very special, customer-specific lighting projects in Amsterdam that will pave the way for whole new business models for us,” says Rogier van der Heide, who was appointed Chief Marketing & Design Officer at Zumtobel Group in December 2014 and will be responsible for coordinating the activities of the new Lichtforum in Amsterdam.
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The UP Building in Amsterdam
Zumtobel Group is to open a new Lichtforum covering 475 m² on the top floor of the UP Building in Amsterdam.
Rogier van der Heide, Chief Marketing & Design Officer, will be coordinating the activities of the new Amsterdam Lichtforum.