How to illuminate
a ZEN garden

LOCATION: Corte Franca, Franciacorta, Italy

The SIMES’ headquarters get dressed up in a new ligh aiming at further inspiration for professionals from all over the world who visit the site every day. Quintessence and inspiration providing light that harmoniously completes th architecture. The brand new ZEN gardens feature the most updated and creative lighting techniques for outdoor areas.

The ZEN philosophy is a practical one that leads a person towards a full awareness of him-/herself ‘’here –and-now’’, based upon two fundamental principles: essentiality and intuition. The ZEN garden precisely reflects these two principles. Its inner part brings the vastness of the world back to a few, simple and essential elements: stones that represent the mountains and sand or white gravel, raked as waves that represents water. 

In the same way, when developing the range of products, the SIMES’ philosophy obviously aims at minimalism that leads to the essentiality and the simplification of shapes. LESS IS MORE: pursuing beauty that thinks in terms of abstraction, not addition; aiming at a balance that will find its primary inspiration in essentiality.


Intuition turns into inspiration. The outdoor environments at SIMES have been reworked according to the oriental philosophical canons and accommodate today evocative ZEN gardens, illuminated by newly introduced products. The ZEN gardens are located on the terraces surrounding the building and lead the visitor in a guided outdoor tour, focusing on the elements that are necessary to comprehend the surrounding space. The ZEN gardens are treated like artwork: by using light, endeavours have been made to make readable their composition full of significations even during night time.


The perimeters of the gardens are punctuated by a strip of light (Continuous Road by SIMES), a product perfectly suited to be used in continuity, creating light paths and evocative sceneries. The continuous line draws a border between the inside and the outside, inviting the visitor to not go beyond the threshold of the garden. While westerly gardens are designed as open spaces on which transit is allowed, a ZEN garden is admired staying at the outside of its perimeter and emptying the mind while simultaneously gathering the sensations the composition transmits in it essentiality.


The leading actor of this fascinating project is the inground walkover MINIROUND. As a luminous modular curved frame,  the MINIROUND lights up the fronds of the plants upwards, creating circular forms that receive the trunk at the centre. This application provides a balanced and uniform illumination, due to the equidistance of the light source visà-vis the object that must be illuminated. Being the MINIROUND contextualized inside the garden, it also allows to enter a symbolic meaning: the circle represents the perpetual cycle of life that develops in an endless alternating of seasons of which one cannot distinguish the beginning from the end.


MINIROUND is also used to outline winding lines that frame the “green islands”, representing the motion of the waves that dash on the shoreline. This application illuminates the island allowing to come out of the dark and expresses a further dogma, the one to which the universe is constantly changing: for this reason the gravel was thus constantly raked by the monks with a special rake, to allow the lines designed, in constant evolution like the waves, to open themselves to many interpretations.

giardini zen_bis_03

Inside this last garden, a winding stones path leads to a green island: the composition represents the way to everyone's inner life, minded as the achievement of a harmonious spiritual dimension. The floating stones are smooth and slippery, symbolizing how this destination is difficult to be achieved and requires therefore commitment and dedication.

A special version of the in-ground UPLIGHT luminaire is used to represent the suspension effect of the stones that float on the water. The Uplight beams its light from beneath and creates a sort of luminous aura that reflects itself at the lower part of the rock, enhancing its perimeter. The luminous frame gives lightness to the composition and allows a comprehension during night time of it, by giving the proper importance of each single element, so that none of its significances will be lost.



Click herebelow to download the complete sheet in PDF.

Brochure Catch
ZEN Gardens at SIMES


These and many other solutions represent Simes' response to the lighting designer's need to illuminate gardens and green areas with comfortable light. If you wish to receive more information, do not hesitate to contact us. You can also book a digital meeting to focus with us on your specific project.