Grote Markt - Antwerp

A new lighting scheme creates a warm nocturnal atmosphere while reducing energy costs

In 2012, the city of Antwerp approved a master lighting plan that would provide an energy efficient lighting scheme for the entire city and its neighbourhoods.

As part of this master lighting plan, Susanna Antico Lighting Design Studio was commissioned to design a new lighting scheme for Grote Markt - the historical market square and centre of the city - and the surrounding streets with the support of Stramien Architects and Urban Planners. Eandis, the Belgian lighting operator, was to co-ordinate the project while the company Maes was assigned to install the luminaires.  

The new lighting scheme was inaugurated on 27th February 2015 to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the City Hall. It was a first in public lighting as it perfectly combined LED technology with an aesthetic design. Schréder delivered a total of 1,300 LED floodlights to transform this square. 

Watch the video below to see the transformation. 

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  • Project description

Video by Benno Van den Bogaert


The SCULP LED floodlights with their discreet design, low energy consumption and flexible photometry were chosen to enhance the abundant architectural heritage on the square. In addition to answering the master plan requirements for a system with longevity, the adoption of LEDs allows dynamic lighting scenarios to be programmed at different times of the night, season and during special holidays and events. These highly efficient floodlights have also eliminated glare, light trespass and pollution. They subtly integrate the landscape for a minimal visual impact.

Schréder also delivered 75 traditional lanterns equipped with LEDs and opaline glass preventing glare, to light the square and the three main streets leading to it. The warm white LEDs (3000K) chosen for the floodlights and the lanterns, emphasis the magnificent architectural details of the middle-ages Flemish architecture while creating a comfortable and inviting nocturnal space. Furthermore, the new lighting has reduced energy costs by 50%. 

Michel Gertis, Project Manager for the city of Antwerp explains “The first time that I saw the façade of the City Hall illuminated, I was mystified. I find it completely magical that so little light can give a completely different impression of the building’s architecture.”

For Susanna Antico, “Antwerp is a city for people, in which artificial light meets our needs for safety, comfort and a sense of well-being. The new lighting was to reinforce the historic and contemporary identity of the city while inviting people to take full advantage of the public space and spend time there. It has indeed created a unique identity that both residents and visitors can truly appreciate when the sun goes down.”

Schréder is proud to have participated in this project which proves that light can indeed enhance architectural heritage and create a unique nocturnal identity for a city while generating significant energy savings.

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