Every urban centre has its own identity. Last week, my colleague Laszlo told us about how Schréder works with cities to recreate heritage lighting, down to the last detail, to preserve that character. But what if you want something new?
Schréder regularly designs and develops bespoke luminaires that draw on our century of experience in urban lighting to create something utterly unique for your city. These customised lighting solutions neatly communicate history and identity and create welcoming, attractive spaces.
Creating a bespoke design is a way of telling a story through lighting.
Done right, it can facilitate a greater understanding of historic buildings, public spaces and get footfall in new places.
We have two options for cities who want a bespoke approach: Schréder Signature, where we work with you to create a tailored project involving a tailored lighting plan and custom luminaries, and Schréder Studio, where we can tweak existing portfolio products to give a bespoke touch on a smaller scale.
I’d like to share a few of the custom projects we’ve worked on.
Couture Lighting for Your City’s Character
In the heart of Paris’ sixth arrondissement, the Marché Saint-Germain is a 19th-century market hall designed by Jean-Baptiste Blondel, one of Napoleon’s favourite architects.
Threatened with demolition in the 1970s, then listed, the building underwent a major renovation and reopened in 2017. To bring new life - and business - to this historic area, the arcades needed to invite shoppers in from the street.
Schréder worked with design agencies to come up with suspended lighting that replaced the old harsh neon lights. Instead, pedestrians are beckoned in with soft, warm tones.
So far, so chic. But this restored jewel in one of Paris’ most attractive areas needed an extra something.
We worked with the team restoring it to create a unique shade for the LED arms. The Saint-Germain district now has a logo, a stylised image of the area’s street map. This was laser cut into the shade around the outside, but also on the top - so the image is projected onto the ceiling, too.
This little nod to this sought-after area’s character has been noted and enjoyed by tourists and residents alike. On top of that, adaptive light levels produce energy savings of around 40%.
Character is literally woven into your city’s identity, and when we worked with Lisburn, Northern Ireland, on their lighting plan, weaving was a large part of that character.
The city is the birthplace of Irish linen, so the City Council wanted to incorporate the fabric’s texture and patterns into the lighting plan. They also wanted something spectacular for after dark, in the streets leading to the Irish Linen Centre.
Working with the city and local architects, The Paul Hogarth Company, Schréder supplied 4 bespoke feature lighting columns for the area. Together, we designed columns that recall the process of weaving flax fibre into linen.
Each column is a complex structure of corten steel, stainless steel and mild, painted steel. They feature a delicate curve, like the bobbin, with a strip of LEDs mimicking the thread.
The surrounding streets are lit by the Teceo luminaire on bespoke columns to make the area feel bright and welcoming by night.
And Lisburn has a signature lighting project which places their proud history front and centre.
Schréder Studio: One Custom Design, 60,000 Luminaires for Vienna
Schréder Studio is the other approach, based on minor design modifications to our existing portfolio. This doesn’t mean the design process is any less intense: one of the most rewarding aspects of our work is listening to clients and working with them to meet their city’s needs.
But with our vast portfolio of urban lighting products, combined with decades of experience (I can’t believe I joined the company in 1988) we can always create something that reflects your character perfectly with just a tweak to our existing designs.
For example, we worked very closely with Vienna to meet the highly specific requirements for replacing 60,000 light fittings over a three-year period.
The Austrian capital has a distinctive aesthetic which, along with palaces, coffee houses and the big wheel, boasts the “Vienna Round”. This glass luminaire is suspended from catenary wires strung across the streets of the Austrian capital - and usually contains an outdated light bulb.
We’ve worked out a way to make a new version with modern LED technology inside without compromising on looks, so the city can keep this icon - and enjoy energy savings and brighter streets.
It’s the kind of project that I find uniquely rewarding - helping cities highlight their character for the next generation of citizens and visitors, while saving energy for us all.
About the writer
Since he joined the company as a mechanical engineer in 1988, Jean-Luc has developed a wide range of urban lighting luminaires, always striving to improve design and efficiency.
He has travelled the world, bringing a hands-on mentality to deliver the perfect solution for customers worldwide. There’s not a lot he doesn’t know about lighting!
Connect with Jean-Luc on LinkedIn