Guided by the ambition to celebrate Canada’s cultural diversity, The Leaf is a new botanical sanctuary located in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park. This unique garden attraction will tell Canadian cultural stories through the world of plants, offering visitors a multi-seasonal experience over four distinct worlds or “biomes” in a visually stunning display of colour, texture, and fragrance. Within the biomes, dynamic lighting schemes playfully mimic nature’s diverse sky patterns – moon phases, sunsets, and the like. The lighting design scheme deploys reflectors and remotely mounted narrow beams that wrap the central diagrid structure. LED bollards illuminate the pedestrian pathways between the biodomes.

The lighting concept was to create an indirect lighting effect using custom designed metal reflectors to redirect light back into the biodome. The lighting quality resembles that of natural lighting with subtle movements between colors and intensities. There are also strong dynamic moments between hard and soft lighting, with low and high contrasts settings.
Reflectors are designed with special textures to bounce and disperse light over large areas and throw light to the furthest areas of the space.

Creating a dynamic color wheel via photoshop helped develop unique color relationships and light effects.
The reflectors were designed to behave like natural light sources; they would not hit anything outside the path of light, but as soon as one walks into the path of light, you’d be met with a soft natural effect light as if you were to walk through a beam of sunlight. The lights do not create any glare for the visitors, as each light has a visor installed on the underside to minimize the view of the fixtures.

After testing several reflective materials, two different types of surface reflectors were used in various areas of the interior space. The biome reflectors provide a soft diffused total light reflection of 94%, with homogeneous and uniform reflected light without preferential direction and increased brightness at lower incident values. This results in a soft and uniform illumination with an expansive range that showcases the natural beauty of the flora and fauna. The surface reflectors in the Butterfly Garden provide a bright diffused light reflection of 87% across the entire spectrum of light and mimicking the varying patterns of the sun.

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