A place Utrecht is the fourth-largest city and a municipality in the Netherlands, the eponymous province’s capital and most populous city. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, in the very centre of mainland Netherlands. Utrecht hosts Utrecht University, the largest university in the Netherlands, and several other higher education institutions. Due to its central position within the country, it is an important transport hub for rail and road transport. The city of Utrecht launched a redevelopment plan for the area surrounding the city’s train station to ease traffic congestion by encouraging locals to commute using bikes and public transport. Ector Hoogstad Architects was entrusted with building the world’s largest bike parking garage under Central Station.

A need As part of the redevelopment, the street in front of the station has been transformed into a large pedestrian square, linking Central Station, the Hoog Catherijne shopping centre and the city’s historic centre, to improve access and to offer a space for people to meet, relax, eat, shop or even repair a bike. An enormous iconic honeycomb-like canopy was installed to create an eye-catching feature that would mark the square and enable dry crossing. The roof brings an exciting and surprising architectural dimension to the area and needs to shine at night.

A Schréder STUDIO solution Arup, appointed to create an original lighting design for this square, contacted Schréder STUDIO to develop a customised solution that had to be concealed within the large columns supporting the canopy and contributing to the overall clean line aesthetic. In collaboration with BAM Bouw en Techniek, our design team developed a luminaire to meet Arup’s vision with performance, durability, and longevity requirements. Installed in the columns, the spiral fittings work as both up- and downlights to ensure a perfect, uniform output that lights the square and illuminates the impressive canopy. The cosy nocturnal ambiance invites people to meet, relax, linger longer, and take full advantage of the amenities, giving local businesses a boost. The result is a safe, welcoming and sustainable public space for the community.

Project partners Ector Hoogstad Architects Arup BAM Bouw en Techniek


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