Project team:

Client: City of Hangzhou/ROC
Lighting design: Roger Narboni, Concepto/F and Zhongtai Lighting Group/ROC


Products applied:

LED projectors (blue and green): 30 times 3 watt LEDs, Philips
Projectors (blue and green): HQI-TS lamps, 400 watt, 4200 Kelvin, Philips
Columns: four 18 watt fluorescent lamps, 3000 Kelvin, custom design
Lanterns: 20 watt compact fluorescent lamps, 3000 Kelvin, custom design
Poles in water: 12 LEDs (6 blue, 6 amber), 12 watt, custom design
Luminous “frames” on buildings: blue-green LEDs, 1 watt, custom design

02. Dec 2009

Visual symphony

Text: David Müller
Photos: Jun Miao

In classical terms, a symphony is a musical composition in which various individual pieces are combined to form one harmonious work. It is not the soloists that play the leading role, but rather the entire orchestra. French lighting designer Roger Narboni together with the Zhongtai Lighting Group in China created a gigantic symphony of light in Hangzhou/ROC. In just eight months the two lighting designers developed a lighting concept for a ten-kilometre stretch of the riverbank along the Grand Canal that runs through Hangzhou. The project specifically avoids dramatic statements and monumental star roles. The goal was to create a balanced, harmonious overall impression that is a pleasure to the eye.

The Grand Canal is not only the earliest excavated, but also the longest and the biggest project of its kind in the world. The Great Wall and the Grand Canal are referred to as the two most magnificent projects of ancient China. The Grand Canal connects Beijing and the city of Hangzhou via four provinces, links five water systems and spans 1,794 kilometres. The Hangzhou section spans ten kilometres. In 2007, the municipality of Hangzhou decided to transform the image of this section and create a lighting scheme that would enhance the Grand Canal in the centre of the city and attract both Chinese and foreign tourists at night. The idea was to integrate traditional and modern culture. At the end of 2007, Zhongtai Lighting Group was invited by the local authorities to provide the lighting plan and realization of the Grand Canal Hangzhou section. Zhongtai Lighting is a total lighting solution provider in China helping clients realize light visions starting from design, technical support, product supply to construction and commissioning services. After careful research of the client’s requirements, Zhongtai Lighting invited French lighting designer Roger Narboni from the design practice Concepto to join the project team. Roger Narboni has been involved in the development of master plans in more than one hundred European cities, such as Paris, Brussels, and Athens, as well as in the lighting scheme for the River Seine. The merging of the Chinese and European lighting cultures started with an analysis of the terrain and the history of Hangzhou. The clients originally specified that they wanted the lighting to be “bright, beautiful, wealthy and showy.” They thought that the light should be spectacular and bright to represent the wealth of Hangzhou and to attract more tourists. However, after researching the culture and history of Hangzhou, the project team came up with a different approach. It was discovered that the history of Hangzhou is closely related to its geography and hydrology. As a part of the city’s large water system, the Grand Canal serves as the main water transportation route and promotes the city’s prosperity. […]

The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 69.

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