Following an impressive array of product designs at Light + Building earlier this year, David Morgan takes a look at O/M’s outstanding Tua LED bollard luminaire designed in collaboration with Eduardo Souto de Moura for the Tua dam project in northern Portugal.
The Portuguese architectural lighting company O/M, previously known as Osvaldo Matos, made quite an impact with its debut at Light + Building this year. The stand was a visual treat with distinctive organic shaped enclosures designed around each of the luminaire types featuring bold graphics on the floors and walls. The stand design was the result of collaboration between Porvocação, an external creative team, and O/M’s Design team. The company presented a wide variety of architectural luminaire types incorporating innovative glare control optics. An extensive range of very low glare downlights is based on the Lightcore multi-facetted micro reflector designed with the leading Austrian optical design company Bartenbach. O/M was founded over 50 years ago and most of the standard luminaire range started life as custom designs for specific architectural projects. The company is now run by two cousins who are grandsons of the founder Osvaldo Matos. Major projects in Brazil have led to an assembly facility being established in the country.
The outstanding product on the O/M stand was the Tua LED bollard luminaire designed with architect Eduardo Souto de Moura for the Tua dam project in northern Portugal. The collaboration between this Pritzker prize winning architect and O/M spans a 20-year partnership and has produced some of the company’s most iconic products. Eduardo Souto de Moura is a leading figure in the Porto school of architecture having studied there in the 1970s and is now professor of architecture. Projects in the UK include the 2005 Serpentine Gallery pavilion in London designed with Alvaro Siza. Early sketches for the Tua show a ring based concept which has been developed by O / M into the final more rectilinear design The key requirement for the Tua bollard was excellent glare control. Tua produces a very wide and even distribution via a custom designed asymmetric reflector optic. The satin anodized high efficiency scoop shaped reflector profile was designed in house and apparently is defined by the combination of six different curved profiles. The modular LED light engine sits within the
reflector pointing upwards and incorporates 30 medium power LEDs providing over 110 lumens per watt. Three LED colour temperatures including 2,700 K 90 CRI are available. The Tua can be supplied without legs for mounting under benches and this version is known as Tua Optic. The self-supporting version is known as Tua and has support legs available in 300, 600 or 800mm heights to enable areas of different sizes to be lit. The optic creates almost no glare despite its wide area of illumination. At the Light + Building fair, visitors couldn’t understand where the light was coming from. They often looked around, unable to locate the source, completely unaware of the 600mmhigh luminaire in the middle of the space. Apparently Tua’s simplicity of design was driven by function; its starting point was the light effect: no aesthetics, no context, only the light. With the effect as the goal, the O / M design and development team experimented with various ideas to project light as far as was needed and with the final design the reflector profile achieved