Antwerp – BELGIUM

A place Antwerp is the most populous city in Belgium and the second-largest Belgian metropolitan region after Brussels. The port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking second in Europe. The city is also known for its diamond industry and trade. As its population increases, the city of Antwerp is regenerating districts to reconquer space for citizens and create a new style of urban living.

A need The area around the city’s opera house has recently undergone a complete redevelopment, transforming the neighbourhood into a vibrant, sustainable cultural destination for visitors and residents. Spanish architect Manuel de Solà-Morales has redesigned traffic into a new underground tunnel so that the city could reconquer part of the busy Leien Boulevard and create a 10,000m² pedestrianised plaza with a tramway, bike path and new metro station to promote greener mobility. For this new plaza, which offers excellent views of the beautiful architecture of the Meir - Antwerp’s main shopping area - the Central Station and the Opera House, Manuel de Solà-Morales envisaged a unique lighting structure. He imagined a work of art that would provide a stunning backdrop and make walking in the area that little bit more special.

A Schréder SIGNATURE solution After consultations with all of the parties involved in the project, Schréder SIGNATURE designed eight bespoke light trees to guide people in safety, create a strong visual identity, and encourage the community to appreciate the space. These elegant structures belie the immense technical infrastructure required to create them. At 12m tall, the central column of each light tree supports five different custom-engineered projectors with a 2.2m outreach. Each of the branches of the light trees integrates 35 warm white LEDs (3000K). These have been carefully positioned to direct the light only where it is needed, eliminating any light spill. They create a warm, welcoming atmosphere with low energy consumption, in line with the city’s sustainability criteria. Each light tree has been specifically installed at a strategic setting to create a v-shape towards the Opera House. This installation ensures uniform lighting, with no dark zones throughout the plaza, and draws attention to the Opera House, enhancing its nocturnal presence and gently guiding people to the main attraction when the sun sets. The central column of each tree is painted in ‘‘Antwerp City Grey’’, a dark grey with a hint of green, in a nod to the architecture throughout the area, while the branches are painted in the same shade of red as the canopy on the square. The light trees create a contemporary and striking work of art, brightening this bustling square during the day and night.


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