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ZKLD Studio lights Unifree Duty Free Stores at Istanbul Airport

Istanbul Airport, located in the heart of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. The first phase was opened on October 2018, has the potential to welcome 90 million passengers annually, and following the second phase of construction, expected to be completed in 2023, the number will rise to around 200 million passengers per year traveling to 300 different destinations which makes it the world’s highest capacity airport. Istanbul Airport provides a unique shopping experience for 90 million passengers with the duty-free shops located on a 55.000 square meter area. The architectural inspiration of Tabanlıoğlu Architects for the duty-free stores comes from the features of Istanbul itself. Each shop has different architectural concepts inherited from Istanbul’s symbols: Bosphorus, Grand Bazaar, tramway line of Istiklal Street, Istanbul’s famous tree judas-tree,etc.

Providing a symbolic design, keeping up with the architecture and creating some visual interest alongside is the start point of the lighting design. Offering an eye-catching atmosphere, a sense of luxury and of course visual comfort are the most important design criteria. Therefore, the main idea was to make an aesthetic appearance along with providing the standards of proper lighting design for these kinds of spaces. The architectural concept design which is derived from Istanbul to give the feeling of the city to passengers has been followed up for the lighting concept. There are 26 duty-free stores with over 12 different concept designs. Other than these, there are also many kiosks like abstracted tree structures in the circulation area.

The goals of the lighting design are determined as creating an attractive atmosphere by emphasizing the architectural details with lighting and attracting the people’s attention to the duty-free stores. By the help of some DMX controlled RGBW & 3000K linear LED fixtures, various facade lightings are created whilst they played an important role in the enrichment of the space.

For the illumination of the interior areas, functions are divided into two as general and focal lighting. 1/5 ratio for illuminance levels difference between general and focal lighting is requested by UNIFREE. This is also the ratio to feel the visual contrast and attract the attention to the desired points. For this reason, the vertical illumination of gondolas (focal points) is set 1500 lux on average and in circulation areas (general spaces), this is reduced to approximately 300 lux. On the other hand; desired flexible light directions to accommodate a changeable furnishing plan and shadow-free display areas have been supplied with adjustable track spots with 12° beam angle. For general lighting; to create homogeneous light distribution and for decorative purposes; custom-made 3000K suspended lighting fixtures with line textured opal diffusers were designed and used almost in every store at cashier points. For the abstracted tree structures, a linear LED line with opal cover around the perimeter of its top is designed as a result of this tendency. In this process, special products such as telescopic rail spot arms, mounting cases/brackets had been developed and produced during the design and detailing the process to obtain more efficient and aesthetic results.

Besides being mentioned as the world’s high capacity airport and one of the most prestigious projects of Turkey, Istanbul Airport’s architecture is obviously made a name for itself too. For the duty-free shops of the airport, it can be said that they are the most common and attractive areas of this remarkable project. ZKLD was aware of its important role from the beginning phase of the lighting design to end. By the help of lighting design that highlights the architecture, bold and eye-catching ambiances are created for the passengers of the connection point of the World, Istanbul Airport.

Project Credits

Location : Istanbul, TURKEY
Status: Completed
Design Date: 2016-2017
Completion Date: 2018-2019
Construction Area: 55.000 m²
Client: Unifree
Project Management: ERYA


ZUMTOBEL (All Stores/ Adjustable spotlights& Downlights)
iGuzzini (Store Entrances/ Adjustable Downlights)
OSRAM (Store Façades/ 3000K& RGBW Flexible Linear LED)
SORAA (X- TENT/ Custom-made Adjustable Downlight)
ARLIGHT (Store Façades with mesh material / Linear Grazer)
(F1 Façade F4-F6 Store/ Lineer LED Luminaire with Aluminium Profile)
TLTPANEL (All Stores/ Custom-made Decorative Suspended Luminaire with opal diffusers)
EVORINO (Bazaar Area/ Custom-made Decorative Suspended Ring Luminaire)

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