LONSDALE STREET, DANDENONG
Wednesday 15 Feb 2012

 

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Electrolight began work on the Lonsdale Street project in early 2008 for Places Victoria (formally VicUrban) and The City of Greater Dandenong as part of a project team comprising artist David Sequira, Taylor Cullity Lethlean Landscape, BKK Architects, and ARUP engineers.

Central Dandenong has a unique cultural richness, a dynamic produce market, performing arts precinct and distinctive retail sector, yet the economic decline of the city over many years, took its toll on the overall civic character and public realm experience.

The brief called for Lonsdale Street to be redesigned to create a major boulevard with a pedestrian focus, exemplifying design excellence and renewing a sense of civic pride for the local community. Through traffic was concentrated into a central band defined by rows of six trees. Adjacent to the retail frontages, broad tree lined plazas, shared traffic zones and linear gardens provide a pedestrian realm of generosity and distinction. The public realm is designed as a series of linear bands that draw the broad expanse of the street together into an integrated whole.

The lighting design employs a number of strategies that respond to the overall design to great effect. They are as follows:

Central Lighting Feature - A central lighting feature was employed to create a dramatic focus and entry sequence that spans the entire 500m length of the project. A series of elegant light shafts are employed along the spine of the street at regular intervals that respond to the rhythm set by the urban design treatment. Working with artist David Sequira, a full colour spectrum was chosen that represents the cultural diversity of the city. The installation acknowledges the ‘gateway' function of Lonsdale Street and the history of the precinct with a colonnaded rainbow that is both celebratory and ceremonial. Each shaft of light can be programmed to provide a unique complement to specific civic events and occasions. The light sculpture is very present during daylight hours so it was essential that the lighting fixtures were designed to be just as effective as urban markers when switched off.

Pedestrian Lighting - A hierarchy of use was employed to inform the design; Pedestrians were regarded as most important, followed by bicycles, public transport and lastly, private vehicles. The lighting of the human form, and particularly the face, was vital in creating a scheme that is alive with warmth and vibrancy. An intimate scale of fixture in pedestrian areas distinguishes these zones from the road lighting and helps to preserve a human scale within a physically large and potentially overpowering environment.

Road Lighting - Street poles are given extra height to reduce the number required along the street length, provide more even light spill and accentuate the regular rhythm employed elsewhere in the design. Every pole is finished to meticulously match the surroundings regardless of its function and have been designed to incorporate signage, traffic lights and other road infrastructure, thereby reducing the visual clutter in the street.

Technology Used - The use of CosmoPolis lamps and LED across the project allows for an aesthetic and appropriate lighting scheme to be provided with white light, reduced energy costs and mercury use, and near zero waste upward emission of light.

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