LET THERE BE LIGHT
Renovation of the town centre in Niederkorn (Luxembourg) in accordance with the “shared space” principle
"Shared space" is a term used to describe a concept for inner cities that makes all road users equal. The master plan had to meet all the requirements of the “shared space” in terms of safety and at the same time make improvements to the civic centre district by using light.
Light for more consideration
The church of Saint Peter and Paul stands in the centre of Niederkorn. The churchyard slopes down towards the cemetery, bordered by the cemetery wall that encloses the area. The carriageway, footpaths and cycle paths have the same surface, there is no visible difference between them, signs are missing. Studies have demonstrated that road users behave more considerately towards each other when there are no fixed rules, from a sense of responsibility. This is why the goal of the lighting concept was to trace the traffic routes rather than to emphasise them; lighting was to be viewed more from a decorative than a technical aspect.
Recessed lights in the ground serve this role on the square in front of the church and illuminate the building and greenery. They form islands of light that create a balance between light and dark, without revealing the technical fittings for the lighting. The entrance to the church tower was treated as a special feature here. Thanks to the inviting stairway, people can now climb up the stairs without hesitation in what was previously a dark and gloomy place.
The church is illuminated by recessed ground lights, which are just in front of the façade. They accentuate distinctive features of the architecture, creating contrasts that bring the building to life at night. The cemetery building also shows up in the darkness and provides a reliable point for people to find their bearings. Against the evening sky, the wall of the cemetery appears as a glowing horizon that shows the churchyard and cemetery in a welcoming light.
Increased sense of comfort
Glare-free lighting of traffic routes is also part of master planning. The same colour temperature has been chosen for all light fittings in order to achieve a balance within the white light. As part of shared space measures, Niederkorn has benefited from a slowing of pace, which is reflected in the lighting. Buildings and pedestrians are clearly visible and appear in a soft light. A public place where people can meet, that improves community life and attracts people, day and night.
Photos: Steve Troes Fotodesign