Liege is a city in full transformation. To establish the city as an ‘Euroregional pole’ of economic activity, the local authorities launched a regeneration programme for the Guillemins district. The construction of the futuristic Guillemins Train Station in 2009 was only one element of this project. The city wanted to breathe new life into the area through 4 main axes:
1. improving access to public spaces
2. providing new housing
3. increasing mobility, comfort and road safety
4. developing new businesses.
To achieve this objective, the city has completely transformed the area around the new train station. Roads have been reorganised to create an esplanade that will enable people to go from the station to the far bank of the Meuse River, offering more space for pedestrians and cyclists as well as more green areas.
Lighting was always going to be an important factor in transforming this area. As a shared space, it was essential that the lighting ensure safety for all the different users; cars, buses, cyclists and pedestrians. The architectural office Dethier Architecture wanted an energy efficient solution that would also contribute to transforming the nocturnal landscape of this upcoming area. They opted for the Piano and Neos luminaires.
The Piano was chosen to light the roads and streets leading to the train station. Its pure design and high-quality finish perfectly complement the train station while providing a bright white light to safely guide all users. The Piano luminaires and poles are painted black to contrast with the white stone of the station, creating a visual contrast. They are mounted quite low (4.5m) to ensure that the architectural beauty of the train station dominates the landscape. Two luminaires are installed on a column to simultaneously light the roads and the footpaths while Neos Zebra LED luminaires are also mounted at 6m on some of the same columns to light the pedestrian crossings. As Mr. Faes from Dethier Architecture explains “By installing several luminaires on the same column, the amount of furniture on the pavements has been significantly reduced to ensure easy access and mobility.”
The luminaires are fitted with neutral white LEDs to avoid a big contrast with the lighting throughout the rest of the city.
In order to leave as much free space as possible on the esplanade, 5 Neos luminaires are installed per 10m high poles with the luminaires directed in different directions to create a welcoming and safe environment. By reducing the number of columns, the visual impact of the impressive train station is even more striking. The limited number of poles also provides more space to organise events and enable people to move freely.
Noctis floodlights uplight the trees on the esplanade, enhancing the warm nocturnal atmosphere. They were carefully installed behind the tree trunks to highlight the foliage without creating any glare for people passing by.
The local authorities and residents are delighted with the new lighting scheme which has brought this district back to life by creating a safe and convivial nocturnal landscape where people want to spend time, boosting a sense of civic pride while attracting new businesses to the area.