Lighting in Design

The gastronomic traditions of Europe and Asia differ, and this applies equally to the high art of pastry shops. In Asia elaborate decorations are deemed to be particularly important and, in contrast to Europe, a guest would prefer to offer a bought and decorated cake for a celebration rather than a home-made, and therefore perhaps not quite so perfect, cake. The pastry products of the Black Swan patisserie in Beijing are almost breath taking. In accordance with the name, sweet delicacies are frequently decorated with swans of sugar icing and their contours have a curved, filigree appearance.

ERCO BlackSwan Peking 004 WEBERCO BlackSwan Peking 006

Black Swan is the new luxury brand of Holiland, a chain of bakery stores in China. The first branch of the retail outlet which mainly offers exclusive bakery goods, including multilevel wedding cakes, recently opened in Beijing. The creations displayed in showcases attract covetous glances from food connoisseurs while customers can select lower-cost baked goods from the shelves. The pastries and cookies are packed in quality boxes for taking away or can be eaten in the café area.

The Black Swan brand has a poetic corporate design. The logo consists of two black swans on a white background, and both the motif and black-and-white look can be found throughout the store design. A photograph of two black swans in a snowy landscape with a sweeping branch and dark lake is depicted across the area of two walls, and its reduced composition is reminiscent of traditional Chinese landscape painting that aims to capture moods and inspire a sense of contemplation in the viewer. The walls, floor, ceiling and furniture are also either black or white, and the swan theme even decorates furnishings and fitments such as the cake forks.

The black ceiling is given a sense of structure with track. ERCO Optec spotlights create light points achieving high contrast against the dark background, and without causing any glare for customers. The light spots emphasise and highlight the showcases and shelving displaying the goods. Narrow spot or oval flood light distributions are used according to the size of the display. The baked goods appear especially attractive thanks to the high quality of the ERCO LED light along with its very good colour rendering, brilliance and precision.

Dark surfaces, for example bread and chocolate coatings, are illuminated with 3000 K because warm white light emphasises the effect of warm red tones, and bright, cool surfaces – such as the vibrant glazes – are displayed with neutral white 4000 K. Despite the lighting, no increases in temperature are generated in the showcases owing to optimum thermal management of the luminaire housings, thereby avoiding any damage to the cakes. Highlights are also created on tables to achieve an intimate coffee house atmosphere, inviting the guests to relax and stay.

Photo credits: © ERCO GmbH,, photo: Sebastian Mayer.

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Fax: +27 11 615-6108