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BUILDING BRIDGES Affectionately dubbed ‘The Swan’ by locals, due to its gracious silhouette, the Erasmus Bridge, designed by architect Ben van Berkel, is the tallest bridge in the Netherlands. Rising to a height of 139m and extending to a breadth of 800m over the river Maas, the Erasmus Bridge has become Rotterdam’s most important landmark and iconic symbol in the city’s skyline since its inauguration in 1996. With the Erasmus Bridge approaching its 21st anniversary, the city of Rotterdam wanted to apply more suitable solutions for the future and requested the introduction of new advanced lighting technology for the illumination of the bridge. The initial lighting scheme designed by UNStudio aimed to enhance visual perception of the bridge’s identity both during day and night. Using the skyline as a backdrop, the construction elements are designed to ingeniously blend during the

day. The designers opted for the opposite effect at night, which is to create a strong visual identity where all the shapes and forms are accentuated in order to stand out in the urban environment and to reflect in the water. During 2016-2017, UNStudio architects assisted the City of Rotterdam in issuing a tender for the new LED technology light fittings to be implemented according to the studio’s initial lighting principles. As well as creating striking visual effects, the bridge’s new lighting scheme also follows the sustainable principles and meets current regulations for the reduction of energy consumption. The design also accommodates the possibility to perform special lighting events. To meet the aims of the new lighting scheme, in 2016 UNStudio commissioned ACTLD, a Belgium-based independent lighting and visual environment design agency, to carry out a full quantitative

and qualitative analysis, where both CCT/colour and luminance/illuminance measurements were taken before and after the replacement of the old lighting equipment with new LED fittings (provided by Sill and installed by Dynniq), and advise on the lighting principles. As an outcome of the analysis, ACTLD provided an assessment of the new LED system for the appearance, the range and the quality of the achievable colour, the performance of the transitions between lighting schemes and the potential for further customisation. Based on the initial lighting concept by UNStudio and following the conclusions of its assessment of the new lighting scheme, ACTLD also supervised the programming of multiple lighting sequences to be featured during festive occasions and major events incorporating the Erasmus Bridge to emphasise its role in the heart of the city.

mondo*arc Jun/Jul 2017 - Issue 98  

mondo*arc is the leading international magazine in architectural lighting design. Targeted specifically at the lighting specification market...

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