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Merlata Bloom Lifestyle Center

Custom lighting solutions

Milan - Italy

Merlata Bloom Lifestyle Center
  • Outdoor

  • Indoor

  • Retail


Milan - Italy


Studio CallisonRTKL


Andrea Martiradonna

Lighting designer

Thomas Gravanis (Studio L+DG Lighting Architects)



Merlata Bloom Lifestyle Center

Customised light and sustainability for the new Bioclimatic Lifestyle centre

The Merlata Bloom, a futuristic recently inaugurated architectural project, is set to transform Milan’s metropolitan landscape. The lifestyle centre, designed by the famous Studio CallisonRTKL, is a tribute to sustainability and everyday life, in line with the highest urban planning standards and poised to become the focus of the city’s attention. 
With 210 stores promising to dazzle visitors, featuring a unique selection of national and international brands, the Merlata Bloom is distinguished by its organic architecture inspired by the structure of DNA. The architectural complex, featuring two circular buildings connected by a suspension bridge, is a striking example of modern architecture, reflecting the vibrant and dynamic spirit of Milan.

Hi-res images

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Study and design

Greek lighting designer Thomas Gravanis (Studio L+DG Lighting Architects) left no detail to chance when it came to designing the lighting for Merlata Bloom, aptly satisfying the project’s inherent requirements for visual comfort and sustainability. Thanks to Thomas Gravanis’ creative solutions and “tailor-made” luminaires, consistent with the initial briefing provided by CRTKL’s architects and head architect, Jorge Beroiz, the lighting blends harmoniously with its surroundings, creating a welcoming and engaging atmosphere. Despite several challenges, such as mitigating light pollution and glare, the outcome is subtle, high-quality lighting that accentuates the distinctive architecture of the lifestyle centre.

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The Merlata Bloom interior showcases magnificent, expansive, seamlessly interconnected spaces distinguished by ample use of glass elements. Spaces as diverse and intricate as these naturally have different lighting requirements, which Studio CRTKL sought to address by aligning with the building’s bioclimatic and energy-efficient design principles.

The works on the first floor concerned several areas, notably the entrance to one of the many food courts. This area features a double volume due to the presence of an escalator connecting the two floors. Here, a technical composition comprised of suspended cylindrical tubes, TU_V, made of polymethylmethacrylate, delivers 360° diffused light along the vertical axis. With varying heights, these tubes produce a captivating sense of motion akin to a cascade of shooting stars, creating a play of light resembling “luminous lakes”. 
The main roof, featuring a glazed barrel-shaped structure, posed a considerable architectural and structural challenge due to its wooden baffle boiserie, in which Skin – the characteristic hexagon-shaped ceiling fixture – was creatively positioned, facilitating the formation of continuous and intricate linear compositions, allowing its silhouette to illuminate the contemporary architecture’s complex or irregular perimeters. Originally designed for outdoor use, in this particular setting, Skin seamlessly integrates at a dimensional level, while its “singular” indoor application adds renewed personality. Custom recessed lighting solutions were developed to illuminate the ceilings of the corridors connecting the stores, aligned in clusters measuring 1.90 metres in length, with 20 or 5 COB44 downlights boasting sleek aesthetics and providing ample, but not flat lighting. On either side of the shop windows, decorative pilasters host vertical linear light fixtures – Rollip PRO – each 4 and 7 metres long, serving to distinguish and characterise the entrance to each shop.
Similarly, on the first floor, visitors arriving on foot from the Merlata district enter a green space known as the "winter garden", where the lighting scheme is designed to seamlessly blend with the urban landscape, offering users an authentic “en plein air" experience. 
The area is illuminated by four carefully selected solutions, chosen to mitigate environmental and light pollution concerns. Firstly, Warp recessed downlights (black and white version) are installed in the upper false ceiling at the entrance to the shops, used to support the Navata Optus directional spotlights, strategically positioned to minimise glare. On the ceiling, on the other hand, black Illuminator downlights have been mounted along the wooden “ribs”. To illuminate the greenery in the flowerbeds, 3000K Bond Pro bollards were inserted, this being one of the few solutions in the entire project not adhering to a colour temperature of 35000K. Outside the bathrooms, a typically highly frequented area, there are tree-like installations under which visitors can relax and freshen up. Here, Orma uplight solutions have been installed at the “foot of the trees”, softly illuminating the surroundings, creating an atmosphere of peace and calm. To complement the ambiance, lightweight Tour circular suspensions have also been installed. 

Outdoors, the adopted solutions respond well, amply satisfying the limitations imposed by the municipality and the challenges of highway restrictions.

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Even from the outside, the organic architecture of the Merlata Bloom successfully catches the eye. Its façades have been illuminated to enrich the visual experience, whether viewed up close or from afar, for both pedestrians and motorists travelling on the highway. Its architecture seamlessly integrates advanced technology and sustainability principles. The main roof is designed to be environmentally friendly, offering ample natural light while avoiding glare or overheating. The aim was to accentuate the building's dynamic, fluid form using indirect lighting that seamlessly merges with its surroundings, thus offering a unique perspective for motorists driving down the motorway, while minimising the risk of accidents at this very busy intersection. For this reason, Rubber LED Strips were used, placed horizontally to mark out the entire perimeter of the building. Only on the wall facing the residential area and bearing the sign of the renowned Lombardy-based supermarket, was the LED strip installed vertically.

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