Beside the primary purpose of artificial light as it has been using nowadays for functional and security purpose, lighting also serves social and aesthetic functions by influencing how cities are used and perceived. The urban perception after sunset is an important part of its character and take also a crucial role in tourism attraction. But to reach a level of global approach, the lighting master plan has to deal with multiple actors, private and governmental, which requires certain regulations not only technical, but also sensitive and creative. This approach has to takes into consideration the city landscape as a four dimensions space, which are the urban layout, literally the roads and publics areas, the architectural structures at different scale, and the time, from the set to rise of the sun.
As creative lighting designers, we aim to think our projects with this global thinking, from the context analysis we extract the personality of the site that should be tells by night through a proper illumination, responding to the functional request with creative interpretation. To develop such lighting master plan we are used to work by layers of light, independently from the urban functions, but from a plastique point of view, following four main approach: horizontals, vertical, landmarks and scenarios. Horizontal lighting give us a vision of the use of space. The lighting has brought by masts, bollards and trees are applied mostly on the roads and path structures in different scale and style according to the traffic level and importance of the axis. Vertical lighting brings contrast and legibility at bigger scale to the urban landscape, some façades located on axis are then chosen to be light up because they are located on important sightlines and allow us to highlight some main crossroads and important activity zones. Landmarks lightings brings story in the nightscape, by generating breaks in terms of intensity, colors, or other lit effects, and also to create events.
Of course all this different layers have to be harmonized and in accordance with public safety, urban services as well as concern for energy consumption. But this functional aspect of the lighting should be forgotten from the user point of view, because the night ambient in our city are part of our culture, and lighting has a big responsibility in the night environment sustainability.
Ha Long Premier Village project
For this new urban area, SLA designers has been missioned to light the full urban areas, landscape and facades. First thing we had to consider is the position of the site on the sea side, it is why we proposed a global graduate illumination installation from the main road to the coast line, in order to avoid light pollution and to enjoy the stars sky. We also overlapped several horizontal layers, according to the different architectural styles of each zones, but still with a common logic, as a way to keep a general feeling of guidance and landmark. In terms of façade lighting, we chose to highlight the main roads façade with a strong reinforcement a the main gate. But inside the urban area, we selected only some facades because of their position and the visitor point of view. The general idea is to not overload the lighting, to generate contrast and maintain a graduation in the general illumination till very low luminance on the sea coast.
WRITER: Phuc, Lighting Designer