Lighting to drive sustainable growth and create a public space at the heart of the community
In 2015, the city of Utrecht launched a redevelopment plan for the area surrounding the city’s train station to ease traffic congestion by encouraging locals to commute using bikes and public transport, and in turn make it a more sustainable city.
Ector Hoogstad Architects was entrusted with building the world’s largest bike parking garage under Central Station with 3 aims in mind: convenience, speed and safety. Cyclists can ride directly from the street level to their parking slot, from which they can quickly access the station, making the commute much easier and enjoyable.
By building the bike path under the station, the city is freeing up space in front of the station to add new user-friendly amenities for cyclists and other users and create a vibrant and friendly part of the city centre.
As part of the redevelopment, the street in front of the station has also undergone a major makeover. It has been transformed into a large pedestrian square, linking Central Station, the Hoog Catherijne shopping centre and the city’s historic centre, to improve access and to offer a space for people to meet, relax, eat, shop or even repair a bike.
An enormous iconic honeycomb-like canopy was installed to create an eye-catching feature that would mark the square and enable a dry crossing.
The canopy brings an exciting and surprising architectural dimension to the area and needed to shine at night. Arup, who was appointed to create an original lighting design for this square, contacted us to develop a customised solution that had to be concealed within the large columns supporting the canopy and contribute towards the clean lines of the overall aesthetic.
In collaboration with BAM Bouw en Techniek, we designed a luminaire to meet Arup’s vision with the requirements for performance, durability and longevity. Installed in the columns, the spiral fittings, work as both up- and downlights to ensure a perfect uniform output that lights the square and illuminates the impressive canopy.
The cosy nocturnal ambiance invites people to meet, relax and linger longer and take full advantage of the amenities, which gives local businesses a boost. The result is a safe, welcoming and sustainable public space for the community.