Hospitality/Leisure, News, Retail

Lighting at Beirut’s Aïshti Foundation is a work of art

The Aïshti Foundation combines art gallery, retail units and leisure facilities

Zumtobel and Tridonic illuminate the Aïshti Foundation in Beirut, home to more than 2000 pieces of contemporary artwork.


Retail therapy: the shopping mall stretches over four floors with a large atrium in the middle

After three years of construction, the 35,000 m2 Aïshti Foundation has opened its doors to the public. The complex, which is located in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, was designed by renowned architect David Adjaye and showcases more than 2000 pieces of contemporary artwork from the private collection of Tony Salamé, CEO of Aïshti. Alongside an art gallery, the project also encompasses a range of retail units and leisure facilities.

Since first appearing on the retail scene in 1989, Aïshti has grown from being a single high-end clothing store into a global chain that offers luxury brands including Prada, Miu Miu, YSL, Dior, Marc Jacobs and Burberry.


Mall content

Zumtobel and Tridonic worked together to create a distinctive lighting solution for the Aïshti Foundation. The retail outlets stretch over four floors with a large atrium in the middle. The coves on each floor and the escalators are illuminated with over 600 metres of the Talexx module Stark from Tridonic. This LED chain creates beautiful linear accents that blend in with the dramatic architecture of the atrium. The colour temperature of the light lines can be adjusted between 3000 and 6500 K using the app-based Litecom lighting management system.

Tecton LED and Vivo spotlights from Zumtobel illuminate the general areas of the shopping mall. The Tecton’s split lens delivers uniform illumination and reduces the risk of perceived glare. Power supply, lighting control and connection to the emergency lighting system are already integrated into the unit’s trunking. This makes it easy to add luminaires and exit signs to the trunking when and where they are required. The customised Vivo spotlights with double heads ensure a powerful, high-precision and uniform illumination of the hallways.

The shape of the building is a simple block that has been rotated on one edge, giving the impression that it has been tilted. The retail spaces have been installed around the atrium on one side of the block. The gallery, which can be found on the other side, is hosting an inaugural exhibition curated by Massimiliano Gioni and titled “New Skin”.


Playing to the gallery

Slotlight II LED and Linaria provide the general lighting for the gallery, achieving a clean, linear design that extends throughout the entire application. The minimalist Arcos spotlight, designed by David Chipperfield, adds a special level of focus to the exhibition space. The design is said to allow objects to be perfectly highlighted with a light that is free from UV and IR radiation. The powerful Panos evolution and Cardan ranges light up the corridor areas.

The lighting solution of the Aïshti Foundation can be controlled to combine visual comfort and energy efficiency, with the Litecom system configured to support effective management of individual rooms, several floors or the whole building. As well as using conventional momentary action switches, the lighting solution can be regulated via Zumtobel control units, smartphones, tablets and computers.

Pictures: Guillaume Ziccarelli