Speirs + Major Win Top Lighting Design Honour For The 4th Time
“In your light we shall see the light”.
Speirs + Major have once again been awarded what is widely considered to be the profession’s top honour for lighting design – the International Association of Lighting Designer’s Radiance Award. The Radiance Award is given annually in recognition of the lighting design project that is judged to be best-of–the-best globally. This year, that honour went to ‘In Lumine Tuo’ – the living light of the Dom Tower, Dom Church and Dom Square in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
‘In lumine tuo’, uses light as a narrative tool to unite the Dom Tower with the Dom Church and Dom Square in a unique and entrancing tableau. The title is an allusion to the Latin saying “In lumine tuo videbimus lumen” – “In your light we shall see the light” And, indeed, this work literally lights up the ecclesiastical history of the centre of Utrecht.
After dark, every fifteen minutes, the installation begins with the three elements beginning to ‘breathe’ as a lighting sequence connects and unifies them. Light glows through the stained glass windows and illuminates the internal faces of the buttresses of the Dom Church, depicting ‘the light from within’. In the Dom Square the memories of the past are recalled, the light highlighting the space where the west end of the Dom Church once stood, and marking out the Liberty Statue, a symbol of the Resistance in World War II. The play of light accelerates, and the memories appear to ascend the Dom Tower culminating in a dramatic finale in the lantern, where a burst of energy is unleashed.
Your humble editor visited the square recently and could clearly see why the project, although relatively small compared to other awards, won the prestigious award. Citizens and visitors alike are thrilled with the project. According to one local restaurant owner “I see details and parts of the Tower that I never saw before. It’s a great attraction”.
Created with many tiny individually controlled LED modules, the work is linked to the seventeenth century carillon which plays the melodies on the church bells. Thanks to the LEDs, energy use is low and the running costs are kept to a minimum.
To complement the work, Utrecht’s carillonist Malgosia Fiebig composed a special piece entitled ‘…Videmibus lumen’ which was played for the first time in a special concert for the royal family.
Directors Mark Major & Keith Bradshaw said:
“Winning this award means a huge amount – particularly given the incredible range of amazing lighting projects submitted for the IALD Awards this year. We are extremely proud of what our team achieved with ‘In Lumine Tuo ‘– it is a unique project and was a major responsibility. We would like to pay tribute to both our client, who was extremely brave in supporting our approach towards illuminating one of the Netherland’s most precious historic icons in this manner, and to Benz Roos in our London studio whose hard work and attention to detail with this project was second to none.”
Previously Speirs + Major have won Radiance Awards for the exterior lighting of the Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi, the lighting of Foster + Partners 3 More London Riverside, and the illumination of Rogers, Stirk Harbour + Partner’s Barajas International Airport in Madrid.
By Julie Allen