Landscapes - Winter 2013 - (Page 38)

LOOKING BEYOND THE SHELF KEVIN CONNERY 3 RIFFS ON CUSTOM DESIGN IDIOSYNCRATIC – AND INSPIRED! PARTICULIÈRES ET INSPIRÉES! TROIS APPROCHES DU DESIGN PERSONNALISÉ LES LUMINAIRES PERSONNALISÉS ne doivent pas forcément causer des dépassements budgétaires. Avec un peu d’ingéniosité et de collaboration entre fabricants et concepteurs, les AP peuvent explorer des options d’éclairage personnalisé respectant les budgets du secteur public. L’auteur examine trois solutions uniques remontant à ses années chez PWL Landscape Architects. 1 Toronto may well be found in São Paulo, there appear to be fewer and fewer local lighting solutions on display despite a plethora of lighting products. Rarely does the lighting design transcend mere illumination and contribute to a more comprehensive design narrative, imbuing the space it occupies with character by day AND night. Understandably project budgets are often perceived as too tight to afford higher end fi xtures, and this results in a standardization of pole and fi xture. Yet custom designed light fi xtures need not break budgets. With some ingenuity and collaboration between lighting manufacturers and designers, opportunities for unique, place specific responses abound. When I worked at PWL Landscape Architects we explored several custom lighting design options within the limitations of public sector project budgets. AS LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS we regularly peruse lighting catalogues resplendent with choice: at times too much choice. Hundreds of pages illustrate thousands of fixtures from manufacturers around the world. A recent check of Philips Lumec’s web site reveals thirty plus lines of outdoor luminaires, each with numerous variants, dozens of pole and bracket options, several surface finishes and colour options and four primary lighting sources. Other companies are similarly rich with offerings. 1 CONJURING A COMPASS In 1989 Kwantlen Community College (now Kwantlen Polytechnic University) began planning for a new campus in Richmond, B.C. that included an interior design program. To help distinguish the new campus, we embedded several features in the landscape that spoke to the College’s design program. Most prominent are the ‘compass’ lights perched on top of ‘concrete book bases’ at the main entry. Through several design iterations we were able to design a compass-inspired frame using off-the-shelf flat bars of steel to receive a standard Lumec ‘Westminster’ series luminaire. Conduit was integrated into the legs of the compass to receive the electrical service. The formwork for the base was constructed to imprint the impression of a book spine and cover on the concrete. We also specified a tooled radius reveal on the top of the book base to suggest the turning of the compass. These custom lights were integrated into the design of the front entry to provide both lighting and seating. Hence, there was no significant extra cost beyond conventional light and seating options. IDIOSYNCRATIC STATEMENTS What is not on offer, however, are the idiosyncratic possibilities of place-specific design. For example there are no cut sheets for the playful ‘squatting legs’ pole base we see alongside the Arno River in Florence which undoubtedly reflects Florence’s opulent history. Nor will we find a catalogue page dedicated to the light balls that line the edge of Taranaki Street Wharf in Wellington, New Zealand. And I guarantee that the string of lights that span New Bridge Road in Singapore every Chinese New Year are not found on a shelf. In a globalizing world where the same light pole and fixture selected for a project in 2 OBELISKS FOR SCIENCE WORLD At the eastern end of Vancouver’s False Creek sits the geodesic dome that is Science World. The dome was Expo Centre during the City’s highly successful Expo 86 World’s Fair. In 1990, the City of Vancouver commissioned PWL to design the second phase of park development adjacent to Science World. Mindful of Science World’s mission to engage British Columbians in science, we pondered how the landscape could reinforce the mission. We thought about the origins of science and mathematics, which took us to Pythagoras and Ancient Egypt for inspiration. Fortuitously Lumec was simultaneously developing a prototype for a pyramidal shaped luminaire. This led us to explore the obelisk as a potential form for custom designed light fixtures. After several iterations, including drawing the light with its base at 1:1 scale on butcher paper hung off the side of our office building, we arrived at an EN_ 2, 3 38 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Winter 2013

Excitable Photons in the Ether | Photons affolés
99 Red Balloons | Light by the Barrel | Something Old, Something New | Cambridge Lights Up | Emptyful
We are Modern Day Lamplighters | Les allumeurs de réverbères modernes ….
The Lights Come Up on 3 Exceptional Landscapes | Les lumières s’allument sur trois paysages exceptionnels
Champ-de-Mars: Shedding Light on History | La lumière au service de l’histoire
To Infinity and Beyond! | Par delà l’infini!
The Gros Morne Challenge | Le défi de Gros-Morne
Cypress Hills: Land of the Living Skies | Cypress Hills : où le ciel s’anime
Urban Parks: To Light or Not to Light? | Parcs urbains : doit-on les éclairer? ….
Lightitude: Lighting Under a Capricious Sky | Lightitude : éclairer sous un ciel capricieux
A Pragmatist’s Guide | Guide pragmatique
Three Riffs on Custom Design | Trois approches du design personnalisé
Seeing Light | Voir la lumière
Representing Landscapes, Ed. Nadia Amoroso.
Collaborators |Collaborateurs
Game Changers | Nouvelle donne : quatre decennies en lumiere

Landscapes - Winter 2013