Najac, the medieval bastide

Customised lantern to guide, enhance and unify historic architecture and landscape

Najac, a medieval bastide in the Aveyron department, is classified one of the most beautiful villages in France. Overlooking the Aveyron valley, it a sanctuary of calm for its 750 residents and the many tourists who visit each year. 

In 2011, the local authorities launched a regeneration project for Place de la Pause and Place du Faubourg in the heart of the village.

The project management was entrusted to Pierre Enjalbal and the team at the Coco Architecture agency, along with Wonderfulight for the lighting design, Palimpseste for the landscaping and AQR engineering office for the roads and network. The project, which was carried out in several phases, began in 2012, but it was only in 2015 that company CEGELEC (Rodez agency) was commissioned for the public lighting.

Tailored lighting to emphasise character 

The nocturnal landscape of Najac varies according to the rhythm of the seasons and the activities taking place. Different layers of light are needed to adapt the landscape to the different needs and moments of the year. Public lighting fulfils a practical functionality, providing guidance and safety between dusk and dawn. Architectural lighting enhances the aesthetics and atmosphere, tailoring the light to the specific context, be it social events or larger crowds during the tourist season. 

Anne Bureau of Wonderfulight agency took up the challenge of finding the right luminaire to emphasise the character of this charming village, unify the lighting and encourage people to visit its attractions after nightfall. 

After numerous unsuccessful searches to find the ideal lantern, Anne decided to work with Schréder SIGNATURE to create a unique, brand new luminaire for Najac, influenced by 17th-century lanterns.

Fusing the past with the future

From the first discussions to the final product, the design of this lantern took almost two years, with Schréder SIGNATURE using several mock-ups to validate the design before making a working prototype and adjusting it several times. 

This new lantern, named the NAJACOISE after the village, integrates a mask perforated by patterns inspired by the characteristic slate roofs of the region. 

Equipped with 24 warm white LEDs for street lighting and three additional warm white LEDs to diffuse the decorative elements of the mask, it ensures a uniform lighting on the ground while creating create a soft and relaxing nocturnal ambiance.  

Place de la Pause


Najac council


Architect: Pierre Enjalbal & team – Coco Architecture
Lighting design: Wonderfulight
Landscape architect: Palimpseste
Infrastructure engineering: AQR
Public lighting contractor: CEGELEC (Rodez)
Photographer: Patrice Nin

At night, the NAJACOISE lantern catches the eye. With only a few watts, it brings a soft and original visual presence. 

Anne Bureau
Co-founder – Wonderfulight

Contributing to a low carbon future

This new lighting has not only transformed the nightscape but also generates significant energy savings as the NACAJOISE only consumes 32W compared to the old 100W sources. 

Such was the success of this collaboration, the NAJACOISE lantern has been integrated into Schréder’s catalogue and has won over other cities, which have taken advantage of its customisation possibilities.