Architectural Lighting

One of the most important tasks in lighting design is to maintain the harmony between day and night perception of the object, to show the viewer the architectural appearance of the building and open its new facets through the play of light and shadow. It is important to fit the new image of light into the existing urban context, taking into account the lighting of the city and nearby buildings.

At the beginning of a lighting project, the initial data is analysed, the architectural features, history and ideology of the object are studied. Particular attention is paid to studying the immediate surroundings of the structure. Visibility maps are drawn up based on the information gathered. The purpose of forming such maps is to understand what part of the facades is visible to passers-by as they walk along nearby streets, from viewing platforms, embankments and bridges.

This allows you to create a planarity of perception of the architectural lighting and determine the saturation of the light pattern. Planarity means the effect of aerial perspective, which conveys a sense of volume of the composition of the building, the depth of its space through the contrast between the first and second plan. Thus, the concept created allows the customer to reduce the cost of lighting areas that are out of sight.

The analysis of the current situation showed that the business center is located in a prestigious and rapidly developing area in close proximity to the city center. The peculiarity of Urban is multifunctional space of offices and commercial premises with courtyard. In our concept, we emphasized the courtyard space in order to create a visual corridor for pedestrians and invite them into the business center.

A traffic and visibility map study showed that there are roads with high pedestrian and vehicular traffic around the building. The building is surrounded by a park which connects streets and where restaurants, cafes and stores are located. This makes the square an important pedestrian route and a convenient place for citizens to walk and rest.

The research of architectural peculiarities of the object showed that we should pay special attention to front stairs, entrance groups, first floor columns, belts with horizontal and vertical lamellae. It is also important to convey the texture of the material, take into account the characteristics of the finishing materials, glossy, glass and mirror surfaces.

After researching the object and its surroundings, move on to the creation of conceptual solutions. At this stage, the most incredible, interesting and whimsical ideas are offered. Analyzed the world experience and created images, with which the building is associated, prepared images reflecting its idea and soul. Thus formed a unique image of this object in the current context.

A unique natural light show takes place on the pyramid during the equinox. Because of the stepped structure of the pyramid architecture, a dynamic light and shade pattern is created. As the sun moves, the pattern fades and creates a motion effect. So in our concept we proposed to draw attention to the horizontal lamellae belts to create a light dynamic pattern and so highlight the inner courtyard pedestrian space.

On the basis of the most successful and accurately expressing our idea sketch we began the process of selecting the optimal technical solutions. This involves the selection of appropriate equipment and the creation of lighting calculations. It takes into account regulatory documents, terms of reference, features of the architecture.

Verification of selected lighting solutions is carried out using the program. In this program in the 3D-model environment we place photometric files of luminaires of the required type of equipment with appropriate optics and photometric characteristics. Pro-produced lighting calculations of the major typical areas, within the framework of the standard values of brightness of the facades, taking into account the type and color of the finishing materials, their reflection coefficients and the illumination of the area of improvement. Also taken into account indicators of glare and necessary parameters of illumination of areas.

Category A includes spaces:

  • Squares of the metropolitan center, areas of citywide dominants. Here the illuminated objects include architectural monuments of national importance, large public buildings, monuments and dominant objects.
  • Main streets and squares of citywide significance. Illuminated objects – architectural, historical and cultural monuments, buildings, structures and monuments of urban significance.
  • Parks, gardens, boulevards, public gardens and pedestrian streets of citywide significance. Illuminated objects – buildings, structures, monuments located within the boundaries of the landmark (cultural heritage object), monuments and unique elements of the landscape.

Category B includes the above-mentioned spaces and illuminated objects of county and district significance, and Category C – local significance.

A sketch was created to demonstrate our proposals for the placement of lighting equipment and its modes of activation. On the facades adjacent to the square and facing street, we proposed installing linear lights with the possibility of dynamic lighting. On the facade with vertical slats – controlled spotlights, illuminating the plane of the slats, creating the necessary dynamic pattern.

We also designed the lighting of the main staircases with skylights embedded in the retaining wall and in the treads of the steps. The first floors of the business center are illuminated by the luminaires built into the trim, by the spotlights installed in the niches of the columns, and by the linear light fixtures that illuminate the corners of the building and the side planes of the columns.

The architecturally-artistic design of the illumination includes the following modes of illumination: on-duty, everyday, festive.

Smooth dynamic illumination. Digitals shapes predominate in the overflows. Can be applied seasonally or for thematic events. Dynamics only at the facades adjacent to the square, the rest of the statics.

Movement of color. Starting from the visual center (the red dot in the diagram), the linear luminaires change color, flooding the facades of the building. Then another color from the center begins the same movement, changing the previous one.

Drawing by the brightness of the light. The brightness of the general lighting is dimmed to 50%, for example.

The brightness of the individual linear lights is alternately amplified to 100% from the visual center of the building in both directions, simulating waves. Reaching the ends of the building, the waves stop. Then, moving away from the center, the brightness of the luminaires begins to drop again to 50% until the pattern disappears completely.

Static dynamics. It means highlighting the end parts of the building with color. The white is flowing smoothly into the warm at the ends, while the general backlighting goes from warm to white, thereby creating a reverse color change.

The next stage in the creation of architectural and artistic lighting is the development of 3D visualization of the future lighting. According to the concept and taking into account all the technical solutions the placement of photometric files of lighting fixtures is carried out. Thanks to this we understand at what angle and with what intensity each luminaire should work. Thus the most accurate visualization is obtained.

As a rule, it takes three to four weeks to develop a design concept that includes all the above-mentioned steps. The study of raw data for two weeks, we form the best conceptual solution. Then the visualizer makes a light model of the future lighting. Then the final version of the architectural and artistic lighting of the object is presented to the client.

A design concept of architectural lighting of a building is not an abstract image of future lighting, but a completely reliable and accurate lighting solution with realistic technical parameters. On its basis the development of design and estimate documentation is made, a list of necessary lighting equipment is formed.