Awarded: AIA 2015 IALD Lighting Prize for best architectural lighting NSW
Awarded: IES Lighting Design Award of Excellence 2015 – NSW Chapter
This concept was achieved by minimising reliance on conventional mall lighting, strategically selecting and locating luminaires within architectural details to illuminate form and enhance volume. The success of this strategy is owing to a collective vision, attention to detail and meticulous coordination with the Architectural team throughout the entire design process.
The architecture evolved into a vibrant and colourful interior space encompassing a diverse range of visual experiences. This presented the challenge to illuminate each area to enhance these themes whilst still maintaining a consistent language throughout without appearing as a patchquilt of lighting applications. The design team took a uniquely organic approach to the lighting strategy, working from within the identity of the architecture. The theory that luminance creates illuminance where light appears to flow inherently with a deepseated connection to the built form. This approach would prove to rely heavily on balanced intensities and strategic direction of light to bring every part of the built fabric to life.
Lighting is seamlessly integrated amongst the sculptured architectural elements, demonstrating the potential of modern lighting tools to successfully force light where it is wanted, and to restrict light where it is not necessary. By day, sunlight pours in through the central mall void and perimeter glazing. Artificial light has been thoughtfully placed to fill the remaining pockets to strengthen a natural flow of luminance. The striking façade, dotted with sparks of light, creates a fresh and iconic vista for Wollongong that emulates the native flame trees of the Illawarra region. These luminous cavities perforate through the precast concrete paneling in an organic pattern, in contrast to the facetted, monolithic structure. Over 2,200 customised 0.5W LED sources are strategically placed to provide just the right balance of intensity, but remain hidden from view. In the larger cavities, two 0.5W LED are used to balance the effect.
The initial costing design (by others) was based on a compact fluorescent and metal halide downlighting solution. Due to these budget restrictions, luminaire selection and controls required a strategic approach. Thoughtful switching arrangements controlled by daylight sensors were determined to maximise the use of natural light. Select luminaires provide low level security lighting triggered by motion sensors after hours. The project utilises 100% LED sources, all selected specifically for their technical performance to enable a success result within integrated details. Custom modifications were made to many luminaires without compromising the manufacturers warranty requirements.