ARUP UK TRANSFORMS BRUTALIST VIADUCT INTO COLOURFUL GATHERING SPACE
Luminaries of the lighting profession gathered for the first time online with the world to honor the winners of the 37th Annual International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) International Lighting Design Awards, presented by Cooper Lighting Solutions. Twenty-one projects were on display from 8 countries—including exteriors, interiors, universities, museums, retail and places of worship. This year’s winners represent some of the most innovative and inspiring architectural lighting design work found anywhere in the world.
The highest point score winner across all entries, in addition to receiving an Award of Excellence for their project, received the IALD Radiance Award for Excellence in Lighting Design, the highest honor in architectural lighting design. This year, the IALD Radiance Award for Excellence in Lighting Design award goes to Arup UK for The University of Sheffield Concourse in Sheffield, England UK.
The team at Arup UK transformed a space in its most basic form by bringing light and color, positively changing the experience for the audience.
This brutalist concrete viaduct has been transformed into a colourful gathering space for students thanks to its innovative lighting scheme by Arup UK. The Concourse at the University of Sheffield is at the heart of campus life. However, throughout the years the Concourse became a transient “non-space” used for cycle parking, offering little enhancement to university life.
The brief was to create a space that encourages students to linger, facilitates external events, and celebrates the 1960s architecture. The simple elegant lines of the concrete structure demanded an uncomplicated lighting approach, treating each face as an individual element. Color was carefully selected to contrast surfaces and compliment materials while soft, direct white light is added at times when strong, saturated colors may affect the occupants’ experience.
“This is a beautiful example of color and light as place-making,” said one judge.
Much of the success of the project has been in the detailing of the complex interfaces not visible to the casual observer, delivering the clean lines of light that characterize the space.
Photos © Midi Photography/Arup