lighting design

Putting A Pin On A Big Map – A Visitor Experience Project

Working with an iconic Italian brand, brought everything back to the roots of family.

It all started back in 2014 when Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) approached Michael Grubb Studio to work with them and coffee brand Lavazza.

This eventually led to the launch on June 8th, 2018 of ‘Cloud’ (or Nuvola in Italian), a 30,000 square metre complex located in the Northern Italian City of Turin and owned by the Lavazza family. Part of this complex included the new Lavazza Museum.

Let us share with you the key elements of working on our recent brand experience.


Showcasing The Brand

Lavazza was originally founded by Luigi Lavazza at the end of the 19th Century and the Lavazza Museum captures the history, culture and global reach of Lavazza’s unique brand.

Light is integral when it comes to showcasing a brand to a wider audience. You use it to emphasise a mood, an ambience or even a cultural theme that is inherent from within the company DNA. Like all well-known brands, Lavazza has a clear language. It was our role to make sure that the lighting language was consistent.

The content was split over five galleries:

Gallery 1: Casa Lavazza combines both natural and artificial light to create a warm and welcoming environment that reinforces the family story and their humble beginnings.


Gallery 2: La Fabbrica represents the factory and is lit in complete contrast to Casa Lavazza with higher levels of cooler white light used to reinforce the clinical conditions of the production process.


Gallery 3: La Piazza combines various techniques and technologies to create a theatrical backdrop that supports the AV sequences.


Gallery 4: L’Atelier was lit to replicate a production studio with additional light boxes used to emphasise icon advertising campaigns and media content from the past.


Gallery 5: L’Universo consisted of an immense AV installation within an impressive 360-degree multimedia experience designed by Tamschick, at the very heart of the space.


Coffee: More Than A Drink

From moments shared with others on the piazzas, daylight is part of the coffee ritual that connects us all. As Stuart Alexander, our senior designer, highlighted in a recent article that defines what is the perfect light, “What we interpret as individuals, goes far beyond what is created from artificial lighting. The moments in our life are accentuated by the light around us.”

Daylight within any museum or visitor experience can be a huge challenge. The client was clear that daylight has an important role to play in the coffee experience, as founder Luigi Lavazza proudly said, “Coffee isn’t just a drink, it’s a way to enjoy company.”

We managed to control the daylight so it was enhanced and not diluted. We did this by creating a homely atmosphere, with artificial light supplementing the natural elements. Even in the midst of a dark and cold December afternoon, we can retain an emotion and feeling of being in daylight.


Part of A Family

The Lavazza Brand has a strong connection to its past and family is part of its core values. It was important to reflect this in both the way we interacted with the client and the way we interpreted the galleries with Light.

Greta Smetoniute, our Project Designer, has consistently been a part of the Lavazza project since it was awarded in 2014. “There is a strong sense of family within the organisation, everybody is on the same level and I felt very much part of this. It was important to me to be the first port of call for the Client and get to know them on a professional level to allow the scheme to organically develop, making sure our lighting vision remained in place throughout.


Lighting Lavazza Conclusion

We collaborated with a range of industry disciplines, which helped form attachment for everyone involved and nurture close connections. We felt part of a family. Something that Luigi Lavazza aimed for many years ago.