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Tailormade Hotel LEO, St. Gallen



"LEO", the flagship of the Swiss Tailormade hotel chain, which opened
in July 2023, was designed by renowned Zurich-based architects Boltshauser
Architekten and is located in the centre of the city of St. Gallen
in the immediate vicinity of the historic Villa Wiesental. In their search
for an illumination concept that would blend optimally with the authentic
and sustainable material concept, the architects relied on the established
expertise of lighting planners from Rexflexion and Tulux as the
leading supplier of custom lighting production. The result is an extraordinary
series of luminaires. 

"LEO", Tailormade Hotel St. Gallen
Building owner
City of St. Gallen Pension Fund
Beat Steuri, Boltshauser Architekten
AG, Zurich
Lighting planner
Jonas Godehardt, Reflexion AG, Zurich
Custom luminaires, Tulux AG, Tuggen 
Kuster Frey


"We wanted to design a hotel that was characterised by authentic, sustainable materials and, in principle, did not require any subsequent decoration. We also saw lighting as a central component of this material concept." 

Beat Steuri, Dipl. Architekt ETH HTL, member of the Executive Board 
Boltshauser Architekten AG


With its urban, timeless style and authentic materials, the tall, slim hotel building is a real eye-catcher next to St. Gallen railway station. It welcomes guests in 101 stylish rooms and a Japanese restaurant on the ground floor. In addition to its concrete supporting structure, its facade is made of white-grey clinker brick. Inside, the walls have been partly plastered with clay and lime, which, in combination with the terra blocks and glass bricks used, creates a cosy ambience. 

The smooth transition required from functional lighting to the use of luminaires as a design element was one of the particular challenges of the project. "Designing and implementing project-specific luminaires is always a demanding task, but it provides significant added value for the property in question," says lighting planner Godehardt. He draws attention to the special features of illumination concepts for hotels, where very different uses need to be taken into account: "Of course, the focus is on the guest who wants to feel at home and well cared for, but at the same time the lighting has to meet high design standards and be representative of the building's character. And of course the lighting should also support the operational processes." The sum of these components, combined in a lighting concept, is what makes good light, and having Tulux as a partner not only enabled all of these requirements to be met, but the cost specifications and tight timing of the project could also be managed in the most efficient way, stresses Jonas Godehardt. 

"Together, we have developed an exceptional luminaire that has never existed before. Once again, we were able to rely on an excellent and professional partnership with Tulux for this." 

Jonas Godehardt, Divisional/Project Manager, MA (FH) Architectural Lighting Design, Reflexion AG 



Modular design luminaires as a recurring feature
The intention was clear. The Tailormade Hotel LEO was to be provided with a unique series of luminaires designed specifically for the building, which would not only fulfil all of the aforementioned requirements, but also adorn the building as a recurring feature and underline the architectural language. These findings served as the basis for the lighting concept. Tulux also produced various sample luminaires as part of the process. "These were a relevant piece of the puzzle," says architect Steuri, adding that the search for the optimal transition between functional lighting and innovative design was an important interface throughout the development, with Tulux providing optimal support. 

The newly developed luminaire works on a modular principle, enabling luminaires to be put together to suit the different situations in the hotel. For example, the luminaires in the foyer are more opulent than in the rooms, simpler wall-mounted luminaires were used in the corridors, and simple ceiling spotlights were used for the basic lighting in the suspended ceilings. The overall theme is the globe shape as well as the high-quality materials; handmade glass based on the art of the Murano masters, paired with powder-coated metal. The luminaires were manufactured by Tulux in Tuggen in the canton of Schwyz.

When asked about the special challenges in the production process, designer Stefan Beglinger pointed out the small space available to accommodate the technology needed inside the luminaire: "This was a sticking point that challenged us, because our aim was not to make the lamp look oversized, which we managed to do well in the end." The globe lights also impress with their uniform illumination, made possible by the specially selected lens. The finished series of luminaires consists of a globe luminaire, available as a pendant luminaire and as a ceiling-mounted luminaire in various versions, with the "chandelier" version looking particularly eye-catching in the hotel lobby. The whole concept is completed by lighting which skilfully showcases the room numbers, as well as floor lamps which provide cosy islands of light in the rooms.