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Place: Light First – Office for Subversive Architecture

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The fourth AJ/iGuzzini Place: Light First proposal creates a son et lumière spectacle of Architectenbureau Kirch, Hermans, Van der Eerden’s 1969 GGD Tower, Eindhoven

Our proposal imagines the GGD Tower in Eindhoven as a potential future provider of sustainable energy, in line with the city’s target to become energy-neutral by 2045. The project is also an homage to electro group Kraftwerk’s critical observations on energy consumption in society.

Two elevations of the tower will be flooded with light, creating one bright white side and an averted side that appears dark, due to the positioning of the light source.
Looking from the selected viewpoint, the observer sees an aureole or corona around the contour of the building. This effect deliberately refers to the short moment of darkness created by a solar eclipse. In this aggregate state the tower becomes devoid of any energy and is ready to be ‘charged’.

At the same time, a mirror image of the tower appears in a nearby pool of water, creating a powerful and surreal scene. The image will be supported by darkening and/or lighting the glazed strips of the facades. Those on the lit side will be obscured while those on the dark side will be lit up from inside.

A ‘battery-charging’ effect will be achieved by lighting up each floor in turn. Once ‘charged’, all slabs will be illuminated then fade slowly back to the original ‘empty’ point. The process will be choreographed to samples of Kraftwerk’s Ohm Sweet Ohm and The Voice of Energy tracks.

The line: ‘I am your servant as well as your master … so protect me well, me the genius of energy’ pleads for a realistic debate on how to create an energy-neutral society.

Twitterview takes place at 1pm on 30 July #PlaceLightFirst #LightFirst


Lighting designer’s notes by Paul Nulty, founder, Paul Nulty Lighting Design

The workshop hosted by iGuzzini in June was an interesting exploration of the importance of collaboration between architect and lighting designer.

The architect, OSA’s Karsten Huneck, and I had a role-reversal: he had a clear vision of what the ‘look and feel’ of the lighting should be; however, the existing building alone would not facilitate such an idea. My role was to find suitable surfaces and materials to scatter the light in such a way as to make the concept work.

This is a fundamental role of the lighting designer - it is not just about light fittings. An obvious but often overlooked fact is that you cannot see light. Rather, one sees the surfaces that light interacts with, which is why it is possible to bring complex structures to life with simple lighting solutions.

We identified a solution which involves installing a diffusing material around the windows to provide an illuminated vertical surface. We also proposed ‘cheating’ light around the edge of the building to reinforce the corona effect in case there are few particles in the air, such as water droplets, to interact with the light.

These were simple, small-scale alterations to the conceptual design that served to increase its impact and ensure that it could work.iGuzzini case study:
Lynetten incineration plant, Copenhagen, Denmark

iGuzzini case study: Lynetten incineration plant, Copenhagen, Denmark


Copenhagen-based Rambøll Lighting was commissioned for the Lynetten sludge incineration plant, along the eastern waterfront of Copenhagen’s inner harbour. The plant is clearly visible to anyone visiting the city’s western waterfront or entering the harbour by sea. Lynetten purifies Copenhagen’s waste water and partially produces power. It is one of the most energy-efficient plants of its kind.

The client wanted the beauty of Lynetten’s industrial nature to be highlighted by suitable lighting at night. Using products from iGuzzini’s LED Woody and MaxiWoody ranges, Rambøll Lighting designed an energy-efficient solution that highlighted the purpose of the structure by night. This was done by illuminating the five large cylindrical silos of the structure.

With the new lighting design, Lynetten ‘shines’ by night and is a new urban reference point in Copenhagen’s inner harbour.

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