BDP's 'Guerrilla Lighting' of Manchester wins national award - MIDAS

BDP's 'Guerrilla Lighting' of Manchester wins national award

17 March, 2008 – BDP's 'Guerrilla Lighting' of Manchester wins national award

Stunning displays of multi-coloured lights beamed on to city-centre landmarks has helped the Manchester office of Building Design Partnership (BDP) win a prestigious industry award.

BDP is an interdisciplinary design, engineering, planning and architectural practice which has been responsible for some of the most iconic buildings in Manchester and the North West. Its dedicated lighting division, BDP Lighting, is the largest lighting design practice in the North of England.

Held in London last week, The Lighting Design Awards are the UK’s only national awards recognising excellence in industrial and commercial lighting. They awarded BDP Lighting the top accolade within the Special Projects category for its guerrilla lighting of Manchester and London in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

For the Manchester exercise, BDP Lighting enrolled the help of 60 local designers, architects and manufacturers who were all equipped with an array of illuminating and lighting equipment. This included 45 high-powered torches, over 100 battery powered LED projectors, luminous dot lights and a range of coloured gels and filters.

To emphasise how the careful and creative use of light can be far more effective than just the sheer power of high wattage lighting, BDP Lighting’s spectacle was achieved using only battery-powered devices. This also illustrates BDP’s emphasis on employing sustainable solutions across every aspect of its work.

The volunteers were split into teams who, under the guidance of BDP Lighting co-coordinators, proceeded to create a series of dazzling and mesmerising lighting displays on parts of Manchester city centre that usually languish in darkness at night. Sites lit up included the central walkway near Manchester Library, the underside of railway arches in Castlefield and the Lowry House offices near Fountain Street.

The Manchester guerrilla lighting project was the first of its kind in the UK and was designed to challenge people’s perception of both the city and urban lighting.

Laura Bayliss, Head of BDP Lighting in Manchester, said of the award: "We’re thrilled to be recognised for our work. BDP Lighting believe in creative, sustainable lighting design for people and Manchester deserves a co-ordinated lighting design strategy that celebrates its fantastic architecture and spaces which people can enjoy day and night.

"The amazing transformation we achieved in Manchester through the use of battery power alone also highlights the possibility of what could be done with well-designed, permanent low energy lighting schemes across the city.

"The answer isn’t only about adding light to our cities," Laura added, "it is about using light in a considered and controlled way, minimising light pollution, energy consumption and introducing feature lighting curfews that respond to the cultural and commercial activity of the city.

"Quality lighting schemes also allow people to feel safe in addition to attracting visitors that contribute to the city’s night-time economy."

The positive public reaction to the event in Manchester has seen BDP Lighting repeat the exercise in Glasgow and London. They are currently looking to creatively light Liverpool and a number of European cities over the next 12 months.

Source: BDP Manchester press release


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