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Centenary Square

Parramatta, Australia

Centenary Square lighting design by Electrolight


Centenary Square (formerly Church St Mall) has been transformed into a vibrant and lively public space through a considered combination of urban planning and illumination. Maintaining the client’s key objectives, the lighting design has activated the public domain through a scheme, which instills safety and encourages public interaction. Utilising a balance of colour and movement, the result is a fun, memorable and welcoming space for residents and visitors alike.

Assessing the existing conditions of the Church St mall, it became apparent that the condition and arrangement of the existing post top fittings amongst the trees, left much of the pedestrian space with undesired shadows. This layout also obscured the primary pedestrian access pathways such that the space had become confusing, gloomy and uninviting. There was no sense of safety or purpose, and as a result had become a space commonly associated with crime and violence.

The primary objectives were to improve the overall appearance, usability and safety of the central Church St Mall and pedestrian access now known as Centenary Square. Made up of a series of elements, the lighting was to address the general square thoroughfare, the new fountain and the town hall.

Working in conjunction with landscape designers JMD and Parramatta City Council, the Church St mall upgrade looked to achieve the primary objectives through de-cluttering and activation, creating a strong sense of community fit for public activities and events.

With the added incentive to increase public activity within the square, the lighting was to provide a flexible solution that could be adapted to suit a variety of occasions and events. The square was to attract a large number of young families, so there was a key incentive for the lighting to captivate children for a memorable experience.

The gateway catenary poles were designed by Electrolight as sculptural elements to stand proud and tall at the Centenary Square entry from Macquarie Street. The catenary wires splay at different angles, creating a matrix of light points, providing a canopy of soft dappled light to the pedestrians below.

The inclusion of Multipole fittings around the perimeter of the square permitted flexibility for a number of accessories such as banners and CCTV cameras. Increasing the height of the poles and aligning them with the existing tree positions framed the square, and a selection of lensed LED luminaires provide precise general lighting throughout. The inground arc feature lighting dotted throughout the square to provide an abstract representation of an eel travelling from one end to the other. Lighting sequencing assists to emphasise this design element.

Subtle lighting to the Town Hall was carefully layered and balanced to accentuate all of the architectural elements from the columns and the finials to the towering flag. The lighting is kept at warm temperatures to compliment the tones of the building, however for special public events, a colour change lighting scheme is also installed so that Town Hall becomes a focal point for the square.

The lighting throughout the square utilizes a combination of DALI and DMX controls for maximum flexibility of lighting levels and scenes. Primary scenes were nominated for day to day use, and eight scenes were created to cater for different events with a simple touch control pad that Council can adjust as required.




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Centenary Square lighting design by Electrolight
Centenary Square lighting design by Electrolight
Centenary Square lighting design by Electrolight