Client: Glasgow City Council
Lead Consultants: Civic Engineers//Urban Movement

Services: Lighting Design to RIBA Stage 2 Concept Design
Overview: Design of core concepts for lighting the city centre of Glasgow; lighting design guidance for a new city Public Realm Design Guide
Completed: 2019

Light affects the quality of space. Good lighting enhances our night-time experience in the urban environment. It can enhance our sense of place and articulate the architecture of the city in new ways unseen in daylight, enable way finding and communicate the streetscape, expressing connections between different areas of the city. Investment in the daytime presentation of the city deserves to be supported at night. Sense of place can be enhanced by good lighting.

Glasgow public realm design advocates place-making, balancing the designs of technical infrastructure in the city with a focus on the human experience. A major ambition for Glasgow is to see the city remodelled on a human scale, with human speeds of movement within it. Urban lighting has evolved from lighting for roads which prioritizes traffic, to lighting for streets which includes roads and commerce, to holistic lighting which is designed for streets, people, and place.

Lighting proposed for the Glasgow Avenues considers these qualities and is designed to support them. Lighting for the Glasgow Avenues must:

• Improve the illumination of the city to ensure public safety and enjoyment, and support development and growth of the night-time economy.
• Express the identity of the city.
• Protect the environment and promote sustainability.
• Enhance the human experience of the city and engage all.
• Follow a simple set of design parameters so it is deliverable and maintainable.

Concept lighting designs have been developed in close consultation with the consultant team and Glasgow City Council. A visual analysis of the city centre has been undertaken at day and night, and proposals by all disciplines in the design team have been assessed from a lighting point of view. The resulting lighting concepts aim for:
• A project wide cohesion which considers nearby schemes; thresholds; approaches; near and distant views.
• Balance of the need for light for people with the desirability of darkness for nature; visual comfort; pleasant brightness and contrast; well thought out colour and colour rendering.
• Support for the cultural and historic layers of the city.
• Design efficiency.
• Dynamics where light can change, ebb, and flow; control where light is only on where we need it.

Core Avenues lighting concepts in the proposals are:
• Bring the inside out – make lighting on our streets as comfortable as lighting in the interiors of our city
• Make it glow – lighting effects should be pleasant and low glare
• Layer – add to existing elements
• Trial – test lighting proposals and encourage engagement
• Let night be night – do not make daylight at night
• Enable way finding, and be brighter at junctions
• Include incidental beauty such as tree uplighting
• Consider thresholds on approaches, so that the lighting is seamless and unified