25. Oct 2017

No. 107 – Urban Lighting


D’Leedon condominium in Singapore/SG.

Text: Alison Ritter
Photos: Hufton+Crow

Put together a visionary architecture firm and an experienced and renowned lighting designer, and what do you get: an exemplary result. Sounds like a simple equation, but the D’Leedon project in Singapore was a challenge on many levels, not only horizontal and vertical. What has been achieved by the team of designers is an outstanding landmark condominium, which is not only a sign of the times to come, but a case study of an holistic approach to a design task today. And the planning workshop dates back to the year 2008.


Better than the original
LEDs instead of Candles in the Versailles Paris: low flames à la cutting-edge for France’s bygone days of pomp and grandeur.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: LEA, Xavier Boymond

When the most famous and powerful of all French kings had his huge Versailles Palace complex built before the gates of Paris in the middle of the 17th century, the Sun King, as Louis XIV was called, was at the peak of his 72-year reign. He was well-known for throwing parties and illustrious balls and ceremonies in the enormous palace and magnificent gardens with the entire royal household present. Every evening was spent laboriously lighting hundreds of lanterns and candles. This all marks a key chapter in European history and, whether we agree with the goings-on or not, it remains an essential part of our world heritage. Exclusive candlelit parties are a thing of the past. And the modern lighting design currently being realised points to the historic site being used as a museum and gardens for the general public.


Where the sun meets the moon
A solar eclipse for a park, and a park for a residential quarter – in London/GB.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag, Joachim Ritter
Photos: Speirs + Major, James Newton, Bell Phillips Architects

In the urban realm, urban development tends to focus increasingly more on buildings rather than green areas and parks. Even the tiniest of spaces are used to build extensions onto existing properties, or erect new buildings instead of integrating a park into a residential or commercial area of a city as a contrast and a guarantee for more quality of life. But do all such green opportunities fall victim to being turned into building sites? The answer is no. Committed architects and urban planners worldwide have joined forces to make a clear stand against boundless building development. What has evolved from this movement are what are referred to as “public pocket parks”, small green spaces that make attractive landscaped areas out of the few urban blind spots available – for people to meet in, stage events, or simply enjoy a breath of “fresh” air.


Oxygen Qatar
Oxygen Park, Education City, Doha/QA.

Text: Alkestie Skarlatou
Photos: Markus Elblaus

Ever since the decision was made to hold the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 we all know that the conditions for sports activities in that part of the world fall under the category “extreme”, and that any kind of sport is best pursued after sunset at least. Being able to enjoy sport in lower temperatures also means accepting the fact that you have to do so under artificial light, however. When it comes to modern lighting applications, that means developing a special concept for special clients, and extreme conditions for the lighting technology.



Light and nature – a valuable human benefit
The Sun of Opportunity is rising.

Text: Mark A. Carlson
Photos: Avalon Lighting Design, Gambino Landscape Lighting

Over the past three decades a small movement has developed that considers nature to be a positive impact on the well-being of humans. Naturally, this all makes sense, but western medicine has still not put this at the forefront of practice. Currently, several individuals are paving the way to produce documentation on these restorative benefits. However, little has been done to incorporate this relationship between light, nature and human interaction. This is where I become most excited about the future of these efforts.



Luminophores pave the way
Enhanced safety for “soft mobility” – a luminescent pilot project in Poland.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: Strabag

Cyclists don’t have it easy making their way through road traffic. It is practically a case of “survival of the fittest”, with the car always ending up the winner of course. This is what bikes have to live with nowadays. Around 100 years ago the bicycle was the main means of transport. That said, the car – the new main means of individual transport in the dry – was on the verge of a breakthrough, and the promising development ran its course. Bikes got in the way of cars. As a consequence, bikes were slowly but surely confined to dedicated cycle paths. But now they are on the up again, and the rights of the cyclist are being reinforced. In the north of Poland, they have been testing a special self-sufficient luminous path for cyclists and pedestrians for a year now.



Death of the traffic light?
Researchers have come up with the idea of slot-based intersections.

Quelle: MIT
Grafiken: MIT

An international group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), and the Italian National Research Council (CNR) have developed slot-based intersections that could replace traditional traffic lights, significantly reduce delays, make traffic patterns more efficient, and lower fuel consumption.


Light for places of the heart
Zumtobel virtual reality study: the psychological effect of light in an urban context.

Text: Carina Buchholz

Our surroundings, which we perceive mainly using light, influence our thoughts, emotions and our physical reactions in many different ways, whether we are on a trip to the Grand Canyon or in an overcrowded city centre. This is why Colin Ellard, neuroscientist and head of the Urban Reality Laboratory at the University of Waterloo, has titled his latest book “Places of the Heart – The Psychogeography of Everyday Life”. Inspired by Ellard’s experiences, Zumtobel tested the pioneering virtual reality methodology for psychological lighting application research in an outdoor space. This involved integrating the new outdoor luminaire range into the urban context of Ludwigsplatz in Darmstadt/DE. The validity of this experiential approach was verified. Well-designed lighting solutions in purposefully planned urban spaces after dark can have a positive psychological effect on humans.



A human approach to saving energy
Fake arguments and what is really behind them.

Text: Joachim Ritter

This year a Nobel Prize was again awarded for work that is related to the quality of light. In 2014, Shuji Nakamura was recognised by the Nobel jury for his research on the blue LED, which has played a role as a silent killer in the death of the incandescent lamp. Back then, energy saving was one of the main arguments put forward for the LED. And in general this remains a prime reason for promoting the tiny light sources to this day. Now in 2017, it is again the work of scientists that has been recognised internationally at the highest level that can help the lighting market underline its importance – but for other reasons.



The aesthetics of morbidity
State-of-the-art lighting technology from Luce&Light for the museum complex in Gardone Riviera.

Historic walls work well together with state-of-the-art lighting technology. Thanks to the miniaturisation of the light source, the luminaires are practically invisible – great effects achieved using small tools.


Now you see it, now you don’t
A glowing cavity set in stone.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: Simes

Concrete walls are associated with clear surface areas, robustness, stability and consistency. Concrete is arguably the most important building material of modern times. It is used to make huge concrete blocks, building elements and facades. How is light – given its known limitations – ever supposed to penetrate such an artificially produced aggregate? It can’t. Unless the “stone” develops cracks, fissures or holes …


Depth effect
Ettlin Lux gives BMW even deeper insight.

Text: Jo-Eike Vormittag
Photos: Büro Monaco

Every millimetre counts. All components have to fit to a tee, must not warp or buckle, or deviate from their original purpose. The pistons in a car engine have to fit exactly into the cylinders provided in order to drive the motor. That demands detailed planning, three-dimensional drawings and accuracy down to tenths of a millimetre. Automobile manufacturer BMW has been aware of this for 100 years and more; BMW stands for Bayerische Motoren Werke, which underlines the central role that the engine plays in all their work and business – it is the core of the company name, in fact. One of the exhibition spaces in the company’s own museum is dedicated to the history of the engines they have developed over the years. This space has been redesigned, and Ettlin gained inspiration for the high-tech fabric they supplied from BMW’s ultra-detailed approach applied when designing engines.




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