The design of a building requires synthesis of several elements – from the structure that holds it up to the material finishes that you touch and see. However, building services – security, fire prevention and ventilation among others – have rarely been seen as an integral part of the design process. Considered primarily as regulatory requirements rather than design elements, they often have an adverse impact on the design of a space instead of blending in with the holistic design vision.
Setting out a unique creative approach to this challenge, Node emerged from a desire to produce a fully coordinated family of devices, interfaces, tracks, channels and networks that can be used in any kind of building to harmonise building services with the overall aesthetic of the project. Each element shares the same visual characteristics – size, shape and materials, while also being able to communicate with one another, reducing technical conflicts and multiple control systems.
Devices such as sprinklers, speakers, occupancy sensors, cameras and lights are designed as a family of circular nodes, which then can be surface mounted or flush with the ceiling, with or without a trim. The multiple combinations allow designers to achieve the desired aesthetic, with interfaces that are specifically designed to adapt to different ceiling types: from plaster and metal to timber and fabric. The same devices and network can also be used across different ceiling types within the same building.
The system can be adapted to existing structures as well as new buildings. Purpose-built tracks allow lighting, cameras and other services to be suspended at the desired height, eliminating the need to interfere with the existing structure, while channels allow Node devices to be configured in a recess, integrating different services into a single spine that can bridge a large span. Incorporating smart cable management and discreetly integrating HVAC diffusers, the channels have interchangeable side profiles that can be used with a range of ceiling types.
The Node network also consists of a standardised wiring, power and communication system, which is controlled by a single automated platform that makes it easier to operate. It also makes day-to-day use more efficient – lighting, HVAC and other systems can be adjusted from one intuitive wall interface, which also has a conveniently located USB port that provides a configuration access point to the system, easing both installation and diagnostics. The system’s devices are intelligent and designed to be configured on a flexible zonal basis, enabling easy set-up and allowing zones to be added or removed without the need to rewire the system.
The lighting fixtures, manufactured by Artemide, are also being launched as an independent lighting system known as the Hoy range, whose dimensions, details and finishes are fully compatible with the Node system.