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Cutting-Edge Technology Makes Ceilings Sparkle

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) chose WINSTA® MIDI as the simple and easy-to-use solution for ceiling lighting in their new conference hall.

WIPO’s new building houses one of the largest conference rooms in Geneva. The permanently mounted false ceiling, from which around 1200 spotlights gleam, resembles the starry sky. Which raises the question: How can these lights be connected conveniently and maintained easily? This is the technical challenge WAGO Contact SA took on. All the goals – ease of use, time savings and cost effectiveness – were met by using the WINSTA® Pluggable Connection System.

The brand-new conference hall of the World Intellectual Property Organization, which opened in September 2014, entrances visitors with its unique architecture. The building, designed by Behnisch, an architecture firm based in Stuttgart, consists of four distinct yet interconnected polygons. With a floor space of 1600 m2, the building offers terraced seating for around 900 guests. The shape and materials give the building a highly distinguished appearance. The architects envisioned a kind of floating sculpture. The largest of the four nested elements, which give the building a spectacular geometry, actually appears to hover above the ground due to a massive wooden cantilever that extends for 35 meters.

As an innovative and groundbreaking structure, WIPO’s new conference hall mostly meets all of the demands that were placed on it regarding sustainability and user friendliness. In order to accommodate building sustainability demands, the architects relied on local wood, natural light, a hybrid ventilation system (both natural and mechanical) and a cooling system that uses water from Lake Geneva in its operation.

WIPO Conference Hall

  • Short Construction Time, User-Friendly Maintenance
  • Simple and Practical Replacement

Short Construction Time, User-Friendly Maintenance

One refined flourish of this modern conference hall is the ceiling, which is sprinkled with small lights that are reminiscent of a starry night. Some 1200 LED spotlights are incorporated into a vaulted wooden ceiling. According to Philippe Coutantic, Project Manager at Félix Badel & Cie SA in Geneva, “the system was supposed to be easy to maintain without interfering with daily operations.” This electrical installation firm from Geneva has 150 employees who could handle all of the specialty wiring needed, and gladly took on responsibility for equipping WIPO’s conference hall. They chose a solution from WAGO for the ceiling lighting. The WINSTA® MIDI Pluggable Connection System proved to be especially suitable. It allowed Félix Badel & Cie to maintain the very narrow window of time scheduled for wiring the building (installation took one month), while guaranteeing easy future maintenance, and achieve it all at an excellent price–performance ratio.

Coutantic comes straight to the point: “It was the ideal technological solution.” The functional specifications document contained numerous limitations, and high electrical power was required to operate each spotlight (35 watts each). The project manager emphasizes that “if we had selected a conventional wiring solution, then the installation would have been difficult to complete and fraught with problems.” Since experienced electricians are expensive and the schedule was pressing, it was necessary to minimize the time needed. With its flexibility and the potential for fast installation, the solution from WAGO satisfied all the requirements. “By using WINSTA®, the electricians were able to pre-wire the false ceiling. After carpentry, the DALI lights were connected step-by-step using WINSTA® h-Distribution Connectors,” says Didier Rominger, Area Sales Manager for Buildings at WAGO Contact SA, summarizing the advantages of WAGO’s solution.


Simple and Practical Replacement

The system can be easily maintained, since the entire unit, including illuminant and connection, can be comfortably removed through the installation opening. In order to replace a light, it suffices to simply “unclip” an element from the false ceiling, loosen the pluggable connection, replace the defective light and reinstall everything. The unit is locked by a mechanical release, which engages audibly when correctly engaged.

The advantages of the WINSTA® Pluggable Connection System were compelling to the Swiss electrical firm, and not only during installation of the lights. The consoles at the approximately 900 seats in WIPO’s conference hall were connected in the same way. “It was possible to pre-wire the consoles using the WINSTA® system. By using T-distribution connectors, we completed the wiring installation in a very short time,” confirms Didier Rominger.


  • WINSTA® MIDI allows for convenient connections and maintenance of the lights.

  • Pre-wiring the ceiling with WINSTA® minimizes the time spent on installation.

  • Replacement of defective lights is practical and safe.

By Didier Rominger | 2015-03-01


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