An architectural brand, a creative head at the helm and innovative products for the design of living and working environments – this is what Nimbus stands for. Since January 2019, Nimbus has been part of the Häfele company, adding to the lighting and acoustics expertise of the successful family business based in Nagold.
"Light meets acoustics"– Besides high-quality LED lighting systems and battery powered, cableless luminaires, the company also provides modular, acoustically-effective partitioning and shading systems. Since January 2019, Nimbus has belonged to the Nagold-based family business, adding to its expertise in the field of lighting and room acoustics. Häfele's global presence will open up new markets for the Nimbus brand. Nimbus founder Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl will remain active in the management of the company at its present location in Stuttgart and continue to be responsible for innovation, development and design of the product portfolio.
The architect Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl founded Nimbus in 1988 – a garage served the creative company founder as a workshop, office and exhibition room. Nowadays the company goes under the name of the Nimbus Group, is based in the Feuerbach district of Stuttgart and employs lighting and electrical designers, engineers, acoustics specialists and product designers. In the Mock-Up, Nimbus has a unique facility in the immediate vicinity of the company headquarters that has established itself as a creative location in the north of Stuttgart. The Mock-Up provides 1,500 square metres of versatile exhibition space used for informative training courses and presentations, inspiring design and architecture events as well as for contemporary art and photography exhibitions. The company building itself, an industrial redbrick building from the nineteen-twenties with its own unique character, also lends expression to Nimbus's extraordinary corporate culture.
A characteristic design idiom, innovative ability and visions: these are all aspects that go towards characterising Nimbus. In its switch to LED technology in the year 2006, Nimbus dared to take a quantum leap in the lighting field that catapulted the company into the position of a LED pioneer in the sector. In the field of acoustics, the company established the Rossoacoustic brand, thereby arousing enthusiasm among architects and fit-out companies for its modular and acoustically-effective shading and partitioning systems.
In 2016, Nimbus forged ahead with a further innovation: its range of battery-powered cableless luminaires – not just "little night lights" as Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl once jokingly remarked but sophisticated, fully-fledged luminaires. They free users from structural constraints and allow a new spontaneity, dynamism and flexibility in the use of light. A further milestone was represented by the merging of the company's two areas of expertise – light and acoustics - in the Lighting Pad, a unique and sophisticated product first presented at the Light + Building fair in 2018.
Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl has often demonstrated his courage as an entrepreneur, and his ideas have always proved to be both pioneering and viable. The qualified architect and trained toolmaker has a good nose for anticipating trends. He is driven by the will to develop trailblazing, innovative products that will enhance the way we live and work in the future. It is important to him to nurture a corporate culture that encourages open-minded thinking and an uninterrupted flow of wide-ranging ideas. The marketing team has come up with a number of attention-grabbing and clever campaigns to show the outside world how Nimbus "ticks". The firm's trade fair stands – often featuring a stark, coarse and extremely minimalistic design – have become a real Nimbus trademark: anyone who visits them won't forget them.
Breakfast, which all the staff take together in the canteen, is a further source of inspiration and a cherished ritual that has become a trademark of the company. Visitors, customers and journalists also take pleasure in joining in. The latter often comment on the special spirit at Nimbus. As "design report" magazine commented in a recently published interview, staff members have the freedom to pursue unplanned activities, and the company has retained the ability to think and act like a start-up. After a visit to Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl, the renowned FAZ newspaper found a rather more general formulation in its regular series of interviews with entrepreneurs: "LED technology, cableless lamps, acoustics: the Swabian company displays an impressive desire to innovate."
About 90 percent of Nimbus products are manufactured at the Stuttgart company site. The assembly teams are qualified to flexibly switch between custom-made products - such as giant LED light rings for office buildings - and the synchronized series production of several hundred luminaire variants. The systematic incoming goods inspection of all electronic components guarantees the customer exactly the desired light colour ("binning") - a promise that is unique in the business.
Nimbus places great importance on in-house product development. Internal specialists are responsible for lighting and acoustic design, especially for room acoustics measurements. Nimbus also collaborates on projects with external partners such as the Werner Sobek engineering and architecture firm. The company also involves partners from the worlds of research and science in its product development, one of these being the renowned Fraunhofer Institute.
Since 2006 the company has realised around 15,000 LED projects and fitted out a large number of buildings with its Rossoacoustic systems. Its spectrum ranges from fitting out houses, doctors' practices, schools and boardrooms through to corporate head offices like those of Unilever in Hamburg, the ADAC in Munich and the headquarters of the WTO in Geneva.
In spring 2018 Nimbus provided the lighting for an experimental research project: the Urban Mining & Recycling (UMAR) Experimental Unit, which is experimenting with construction using completely reusable, recyclable or compostable materials and products that can be separated into their individual components and returned to their respective material cycles without any residues.
Nimbus has won major international design awards, it is a member of the "German Design Council" foundation and a founding member of the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB).
Dietrich F. Brennenstuhl sees great potential for success in Häfele's takeover of the company he founded and ran for over 30 years. He is particularly attracted by the new owner's worldwide sales structure: “I personally see this development as an outstanding opportunity and an important step towards the future. In Häfele we are not only gaining a strong and reliable partner for the ongoing development of our two areas of expertise: light and acoustics. Above all, we will have the ideal basis to give free rein to our innovative strength, our design idiom and our visions – the hallmarks which have come to define Nimbus."