The World Architecture News (WAN) Awards bring together the best in every facet of the architecture and interior design sectors and showcase the current ‘best of’ in each separate category. With the release of the WAN 2012 Lighting award winners, the importance of lighting in transforming a space has once again been emphasised.
While this year’s winning project and the other short-listed contenders could not be more different in terms of style and the atmosphere creating by the lighting systems, they share one common thread: LED lighting.
The use of LED lights in a number of the top scoring projects truly shows the truly versatile nature of the product.
Taking top honours for lighting up one of Chicago’s oldest commercial buildings is the lighting redevelopment of the Rookery. The key challenge for lighting designers on this particular project, as noted by jurors, was the need to light up the stunning heritage building without crossing the line into gaudiness. In order to overcome this challenge, designers implemented miniature, custom-made 14 watt LED modules into the top of each of the window ledges.
The effect this creates is a soft warm glow that lights up the stunning red brick building without being excessive or overwhelming.
In a project that is as far away from a heritage redevelopment as one can get, the short-listed Thyssenkrupp Quarter project located in Essen, Germany also uses LED as a staple throughout, though the lighting for this project achieves a very different result.
While the head office was also planned to exclude any of the garish lighting that is often found in office buildings, the ultra-modern interiors did inspire the use of some creative lighting elements.
Throughout the functional areas, the lighting is kept to soft, cool washes. In the aptly-named ‘Room of Tranquillity’, however, the LED lights deviate from a purely functional role to become a design element. This is evident in the colour-changing cubic ceiling design feature, which creates a prime relaxation space for company employees.
The ever-changing world of LED lighting has clearly made a huge impact on the judges at this years awards. With green building moving into the mainstream industry sector and the technology behind LED lighting continuing to evolve, the popularity of LED systems will only continue to grow.