Nikis Square, Greece
SPACES: Best Landscape Lighting Scheme – High Budget
Located at the principal commercial district of the city of Kozani, Nikis Square is the most significant public and historical space of the city of Kozani. During the Ottoman Rule, the area provided refuge. In a similar manner the new square is meant to be a place free from today’s city ‘threats’ – pollution, traffic and lack of space aiming at the economy of the installation, protecting the environment, avoiding the impact of glare and light pollution. The new winning architectural proposal of the Greek national competition suggests a central large space, an ‘urban field’ gradually sloping downwards towards the existing pedestrian zone on the south side, infiltrating into the town’s activity. The square is organised around an arc that accentuates accommodating all commercial uses offering protection from the street and heavy traffic. A sloping edge with long benches, trees and water features marks the transition between places for movement and pause.
Lighting for Nikis Square was developed early on, at architectural conceptual stage and was considered as an integral and primary material of the overall architectural composition. The Lighting Design Scheme for the new square, starting from the pedestrian vistas on the south, aims at enabling the appreciation of the new diverse qualities of the spaces created within the new urban field, as well as intensifying the emotional impact of the project, emphasising the dynamic movement and serene transition between spaces. The feeling of a self-luminous space is achieved through a designed pattern of embedded linear LED strips and brightness variations integrated within different activities. Excessive dominant illumination is avoided while a rhythm of movement suggesting direction is created. The arc shape is emphasised by linear LED cove lighting along it creating ambient luminescence for the spaces below making them safe and reassuring. Motion and transition are amplified by the reflectance of the lit flowing water elements. The lamps used were mainly LED, metal halide and fluorescent. Cool white 4000K was used for the suggested routes while warm white 3000K was used for the spaces of refuge, recreational and vegetation areas thus creating hierarchies and desired contrasts.