THEDA TO GRAPH UP/ DOWN“LUMEN” IS AK INTO AN ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE
Defined by sophistication and precision, the striking DATOGRAPH UP/ DOWN “Lumen”, the latest timepiece from esteemed German watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne, is distinguished by many things, but no more so than its resolutely modern look. Introduced in 1999, the Datograph set new benchmarks in chronograph design with its flyback function and consecutive movement, and includes advanced features such as an instantaneous jumping minute counter. Now, the model has been refined to display a large, oversized date, adding to its crisp look and stunning movement.
The fourth edition in A. Lange & Söhne’s "Lumen" series, the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN “Lumen” has a special coating on the semi-transparent sapphire-crystal dial to filter out most of the visible light. As a result, all the displays of the Lumen glow a distinctive green hue in the dark. With a power-reserve indicator of 60 hours, the entire mechanism is illuminated when exposed to light, similar to that of a building façade in the vibrant glow of the sun. Akin to an architectural masterpiece, the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN “Lumen” perfectly balances functionality and artistry. Adapting to the shifting light, the timepiece can find its counterpart in iconic buildings of the same complexity – albeit of a very different scale – such as the Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre (SZDLC).
Situated in the heart Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, SZDLC is an educational facility with interactive exhibits curated by worldclass experts. Designed by Chalabi Architects, an Austria-based architecture firm founded by brothers of Iraqi heritage, the structure itself is much like that of the chronograph, displaying dynamic and contemporary design within diverse interior spaces that offer a kinetic experience for the user. The design for both timepiece and building stems from a functional need, and push technical and aesthetic boundaries with spectacular results.
Conceived by Talik and Jaafar Chalabi, the structural form of the SZDLC generates a continuous loop and the large courtyards facade is perforated by many apertures, creating striking parallels to that of the chronograph once the sun sets over the desert landscape. The windows are illuminated and the building's polished marble panels sparkle like gold at sunset, just as the dial of the DATOGRAPH UP/DOWN “Lumen” glows in the dark.
Architects strive to make good buildings that last for an eternity. Much the same, A. Lange & Söhne has created a design and movement that embodies architectural accuracy, melding sophisticated technology with timeless design.
SZDLC functions as an educational museum as well as a research centre for desert and environment related issues
ABOVE: The SZDLC spirals up around a central courtyard to a high point which offers a vistato the mountain ridge. At night it glows in the desert