Located in the centre of the World Heritage City of Bath, the public realm enhancements at Southgate provide a high-quality flexible space with increased capacity to accommodate the activities of daily civic life as well as larger events with an annual footfall of 24 million people through the spaces. The proposals focused on a transformation of the main square at Southgate to create meaningful, engaging areas of public realm which encourage people to dwell in a new series of green, vibrant external spaces.

Working alongside the Holburne Museum and a number of local primary schools, the local landscape designers, Macgregor Smith developed the theme of ‘an A-Z of what Bath means to me’ which culminates in the handcrafted bronze script incorporated into the feature lantern at the heart of the space, which lights up to reflect the wording onto the surrounding walls and floorscape during the evening.

The lighting design enchainment’s were an integral part of the overall masterplan development, concentrating on the main shopping square, The Place and the surrounding streets.

Following on from evening walkarounds with the client it became clear they were not happy with the night appearance. They felt the space was over lit and felt very cold while not harmonising the neighbouring streets. Lux level plots were taking during the night time to record the actual light levels. It was clear that the old metal lamps were producing a lot of bright cold light.

The original street lanterns were made by DW Windsor so naturally TÜV SÜD Lighting Studio worked with them to bring the lighting up to update. The concept was to replace the tired lighting with the latest COB LED technology providing warmer lower lighting levels, reducing the overall energy consumption while still ensuring the users still felt save at night.

The challenge was to find an LED light source, powerful enough to cast distinct shadows of the text from within the structure of the lantern which could be easily be read by passers-by.

Studiotech were brought in to help develop a solution. During the development process, the design team tested numerous luminaires on a 1:5 scale model of the sculptural lantern but found that multiple LED chips did not work, creating lots of individual shadows resulting in an ill-defined effect. A single point source worked the best.

The team were tempted to use an ‘old-school’ metal halide lamp which worked perfectly but glare became a big issue and didn’t meet the energy efficiency required by the client.  This resulted in Studiotech developing their own bespoke luminaire.

The successful solution consisted of a high-power Cree XL COB LED on a heatsink within a bespoke housing unit.  Various combinations of COB’s and power supplies were tried to find the best solution.  The COB is encapsulated to protect from the elements. The housing provides ventilation of the heatsink yet all light remains direct.

The developed luminaire results in the perfect shadows and light projecting around the public realm, available for all to see and enjoy.