Eurasia Tunnel, Turkey
SPACES: Best Landscape Lighting Scheme – High Budget
It’s a general understanding that architectural lighting is not expected on industrial-technical projects. However, most of them are a part of a human life, such as Eurasia Tunnel, a downtown connection between Asia and Europe.
The lighting performance of balancing cultural reflection and integration of these dimensions gives a soul to this five-minute trip. Lighting doesn’t only change the perception of the tunnel, but also people’s mindsets.
The Eurasia Tunnel connects Asia and Europe via a highway tunnel going underneath the Bosporus seabed. It serves the Kazlıçeşme-Göztepe route where vehicle traffic is most intense in Istanbul and covers a total of 14.6-kilometers. It’s a complex engineering project that took 55 months to complete with an investment of $1.3billion. Our decorative architectural lighting proposal won the international competition with a design based on the use of graphic lighting. The pattern and the colours were chosen dependent on traditional talismans “Eye of Allah” and the “Hand of Fatima”. Shades of blue and yellow are reminiscent of sunrays and rippled sea, and create an airy feeling inside the tunnel while the pattern also recalls the geometric weaves used in Islamic architecture and in their traditional decorations as on carpets, tiles and embroideries. Throughout the tunnel, there is a variation in this lighting pattern making the intercontinental journey less monotonous. Outside, in the toll areas, we have designed together with architects a structure of metal arches with a variable density that anticipates what travelers will find inside the tunnel. In this project the luminaire used was developed and designed by the lighting designer himself, a cultural and historical visual theme was translated into light inside a tunnel that interconnects two continents, the architectural structure was created with a team of architects and structural engineer because of light for the tunnel entrances based on interior lighting concept and the local traditional arc element. This structure became the visual symbol and the logo of the tunnel on a national level, it even became recognised by the historic heritage protection agency and it became a national postal stamp motif. It was really rewarding to accomplish all that by cause of light in just one project.