Lighting below ground

Singapore, 17th December 2009

There are significantly different speeds at which it becomes time to renovate existing spaces. The highest renovation speeds can be found in retail where commercial interests dictate that shop interiors for instance, will be renovated or updated to the latest trendy look at least every 3-5 year.  In the hospitality industry it will probably be more like 8-10 years and in urban public environments more towards the 10-20 years.  Singapore right now is in the process of renovating the stations of its original first subway line which opened way back in the late 80’s.

Driving forces are the integrated retail outlets that are becoming more and more part of life below ground! In major world cities you can spend the whole way below ground going from your home to your office and back shopping for all your needs and having your meals in the process! With general appreciation for good quality lighting becoming increasingly accepted, more and more emphasis is being put on the lighting design for these underground worlds.

What stood out in the briefing we received for the lighting is that there is a requirement to create more interesting visual sceneries and to integrate dynamic media facades into the design. Gone are the days of boring underground corridors…  🙂  While “mood setting” is making a modest entry, lighting levels and quality have of course to comply with all applicable safety standards. But at the same time the renovation aims to obtain green marks for being environment friendly…So while all these new and additional lighting requirements are wanted, the allowable energy consumption is reducing as we speak, creating a big challenge for lighting designers to manage the watts /square meter.  Again the L(ED) word keeps coming up in all discussions about lighting.    

It is interesting to note that when I recently traveled the Paris subway, many of the stations were still pretty much the way I remember them when I travelled them as a little kid! So I guess a different “train” of thoughts there!

17. December 2009 by Martin Klaasen
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