So as not to interfere with the view of the historical buildings during the day or at night, luminaires with a low-key design language were needed for Alexandrinenplatz in Bad Doberan, Germany. In terms of the lighting technology, there were a number of demanding and, above all, very different lighting tasks to be performed in this project. WE-EF used a combination of standard and custom-made products to implement a convincing solution in terms of design and function.
New traffic concept, attractive town square
For many years Bad Doberan, by the Baltic Sea, had a problem with too much traffic in the town centre. Commuters, holidaymakers on their way to the beach, delivery traffic, residents doing daily errands, tourists who wanted to visit the old town and the cathedral – they all drove straight through the centre of the spa town. An overarching traffic concept, which combined the A- and B-road, and routed traffic around the city centre, was able to improve this situation.
One place that particularly benefits from this new traffic solution is Alexandrinenplatz, located at the entrance to the town centre. The streets defining the triangular layout of the square were completely redesigned for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists. A bus stop now improves public transport connections and a reorganised network of paths – including a pedestrian crossing – links the open space in the centre with the peripheral buildings consisting of classicist palaces and townhouses. Paving work was also done, new street furniture was installed and a display now provides information about the history of the square. Like the monastery, the cathedral and the Prinzenpalais, Alexandrinenplatz is one of the must-see sights of Bad Doberan. The state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania has even placed it under a historic preservation order.
Lighting for streets, square and architecture
Against this background, the public lighting for Alexandrinenplatz had to meet several requirements; the streets had to be illuminated in accordance with specific standards, a pleasant lighting atmosphere that would invite people to linger on the square and architectural lighting for individual buildings flanking the square. “We wanted a solution that would do justice to the special buildings in the area,” according to Norbert Sass, head of the Office for Urban Development in Bad Doberan. Lighting planner Prof. Thomas Römhild, who implemented the project in close cooperation with the municipal administration, added: “We wanted to present the square as a pleasant place for people to linger in the evening and watch the world go by. In addition, we created differently illuminated areas to give pedestrians a range of impressions as they stroll across the square.”
Safety for all road users
Needless to say, the top priority in the planning was to provide optimum visual conditions for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. WE-EF VFL530-SE street and area lighting luminaires provide lighting for traffic areas in conformity with the relevant standards. The luminaire heads are mounted on shared poles with a mounting height of six metres for street lighting and four metres for the walkways. They all feature [S60] lenses for asymmetric ‘side throw’ distribution. LEDs with a warm 3000K colour temperature generate suitable luminous fluxes for bright, uniform and glare-free illumination. The only deviation from these parameters is at the pedestrian crossing where the luminaires are fitted with neutral white LEDs (4000K) and [P45] lenses, which WE-EF has developed especially for the illumination of pedestrian crossings and their waiting areas.
Pearl chain of light at the promenade
Alexandrinenplatz now has more space for pedestrians, thanks in particular to the newly laid-out promenade along one side. In this area, the existing footpath was widened to eight metres as there is plenty of “toing and froing” from the nearby school alone, with its 1,200 students. Tourists on their way to the nearby stop for the historic Molli steam train make the area even livelier. In keeping with its special role, the promenade also has special lighting, with the use of ZFT470 LED-FT street and area lighting luminaires. The luminaire head consists of a PMMA cylinder, which means that the wide walkway is contoured by a brilliant band of light points. In the structure of the square, this pearl chain of light creates a striking visual highlight.
Precise light for vertical applications
“The ZFT470 luminaires have a remarkable special feature,” noted Lars Westermann from WE-EF Sales. “Deviating from the standard version, for this project small FLC121 projectors have been integrated into the PMMA cylinders. To this end, we made the cylinder a little higher and adapted all other components accordingly. As a result, both the path lighting and the architectural lighting are produced from a single luminaire.” Further, FLD111 projectors, which subtly illuminate the façades and accentuate selected details, are mounted on the poles of the VFL530 luminaires.
The light distributions were selected and the projectors aligned with great care. “It is this careful vertical illumination that enables the volume of the square to be experienced as an urban space,” explained Prof. Thomas Römhild. “As an identity-forming element, the architecture surrounding the square must also be shown in the evening and night hours.” The light also highlights special features on the central island of Alexandrinenplatz. Individual spots are directed at an information board, a monument and a water feature. Islands of light subtly recall sunlight or moonlight shining through the treetops.
The new lighting at Alexandrinenplatz focuses on the perception of the urban space by pedestrians in a way that is appropriate for the context of the town centre with its historical buildings. The previous concentration on the road space has been replaced by a nuanced concept, which enhances the overall quality of the area and enables its special character to be experienced. Precise lens technology, the exact alignment of the projectors and street illumination that only radiates downwards prevent light pollution and residents from being disturbed by stray light. The use of LED technology and a lighting management system that reduces luminous flux in the late hours of the night has resulted in extremely durable, low-maintenance and efficient lighting compared with the previous situation.