Lighting Design Week
Public Space Design Week

Lighting design not only shapes interior spaces, it can also be deployed to lend form and narrative to external, architectural landscapes.

The lighting for the city park in Merzig was designed by Tobias Link and features a series of powerful, warm, no-glare luminaires that have been placed within the mature tree canopy. Photo: Tom Gundelwein

The paths to enlightenment: lighting design for landscape architecture | News

The lighting for the city park in Merzig was designed by Tobias Link and features a series of powerful, warm, no-glare luminaires that have been placed within the mature tree canopy. Photo: Tom Gundelwein

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External lighting in public spaces is becoming an increasingly important aspect of architectural and urban design. After all, a successful lighting scheme doesn't just create a unique night-time experience that attracts visitors, but can make places feel safer for local residents, and ultimately results in public spaces being used more intensively throughout day and night.

Using LED lights, LPA: Lighting Planners Associates designed a dynamic external lighting scheme in which the intensity and temperature of the light changes while ensuring visitors' safety. Photos: Courtesy of LPA: Lighting Planners Associates

The paths to enlightenment: lighting design for landscape architecture | News

Using LED lights, LPA: Lighting Planners Associates designed a dynamic external lighting scheme in which the intensity and temperature of the light changes while ensuring visitors' safety. Photos: Courtesy of LPA: Lighting Planners Associates

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In Singapore, Tokyo-based LPA: Lighting Planners Associates have designed the external and internal lighting scheme for Jewel Changi Airport, a large, publicly accessible shopping centre attached to the airport, with a lush tropical garden in its midst, designed by Moshe Safdie Associates. The complex is covered by a glass dome that descends into a funnel, creating an artificial waterfall called the Rain Vortex, which is fitted out with its own dynamic lighting display. The surrounding terraced indoor park is illuminated by 'pockets of light' hidden within the vegetation and the dome canopy, creating an atmospheric, but safe backdrop for the waterfall lighting shows.

LPA: Lighting Planners Associates' Magical Shores at Siloso is an interactive artwork and an external lighting show designed to create a wholly unique series of nighttime experiences. Photos: Courtesy of LPA: Lighting Planners Associates

The paths to enlightenment: lighting design for landscape architecture | News

LPA: Lighting Planners Associates' Magical Shores at Siloso is an interactive artwork and an external lighting show designed to create a wholly unique series of nighttime experiences. Photos: Courtesy of LPA: Lighting Planners Associates

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Another project designed by LPA, along with 1-10 Inc: Lighting Planners Associates in Singapore, is the Magical Shores at Siloso. Comprising a 400m long interactive lighting and sound installation along the sandy Siloso Beach, the project features a number of light projections that create different playful effects, such as ripples and waves in the sand, as well as uplighting trees along the shore, beam lights on small adjacent islets and fog lights, in which simple floodlights illuminate artificial fog created by 500 nozzles. Time, human activity, temperature and wind speed and direction are detected by an array of sensors, and based on the readings, an AI system chooses from hundreds of settings by creating an ever-shifting external lighting and sound display.

The new lighting for the city park in Merzig by Tobias Link shows how important external lighting is in creating a sense of safety and security. Photos: Tom Gundelwein

The paths to enlightenment: lighting design for landscape architecture | News

The new lighting for the city park in Merzig by Tobias Link shows how important external lighting is in creating a sense of safety and security. Photos: Tom Gundelwein

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A more pared-back external lighting scheme has been recently realised in a small West German town. The new lighting for the city park in Merzig was designed by Tobias Link and features a series of powerful, warm, no-glare luminaires that have been placed within the mature tree canopy. Some elements are installed as high as 30 metres, creating a dramatic, yet subtle display of the park's impressive foliage, while a smaller number of uplighters have been chosen to illuminate low-growing plants and shrubs. A newly built entrance pavilion, once again featuring uniform, warm light, creates a sense of security that now permeates the park day and night.

Using waterproof and often submerged LEDs, the external lighting in the San Pedro Creek Culture Park designed by FMS Fisher Marantz Stone celebrates the local history and landscape. Photos: Larry Servin

The paths to enlightenment: lighting design for landscape architecture | News

Using waterproof and often submerged LEDs, the external lighting in the San Pedro Creek Culture Park designed by FMS Fisher Marantz Stone celebrates the local history and landscape. Photos: Larry Servin

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In San Antonio, Texas, FMS Fisher Marantz Stone has designed the San Pedro Creek Culture Park, a nature reserve and a 35 km trail following the San Pedro Creek. Celebrating the importance of the creek to the native communities that lived in the area long before the arrival of Spanish settlers, the landscaped park features extensive, but discreetly hidden external lighting. Paths along the creek are lit evenly, while groups of trees are illuminated for a more dramatic effect. Lastly, special features such as murals and artworks that are prone to flooding are uplit using submersible wall-washers, while the source of the creek has been re-imaged as an illuminated waterfall plaza.

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