Griffith Street Centre Improvement Project

Project Name: Griffith Street Centre Improvement Project

Practice Name: City of Gold Coast

Project Address: Griffith Street betweem McLean and Warner Streets

Demonstrate that a professional lighting design was undertaken for this project?

The overall electrical street design was undertaken by GHD, the ball light electronics by Dux Lighting and housing and fixing by Infrastructure Delivery, City of Gold Coast. Prototypes were built and tested for durability and effectiveness of the ball lights. Conduit for the lighting was installed before major works and installation of the ball lights and remaining street works and landscaping undertaken at completion.

Griffith Street is Coolangatta’s main commercial street. Community feedback supported early analysis that the street was noticeably dark, unattractive and unsafe at night. The overall aim of the project was to physically, economically and socially revitalise the precinct, strengthen its local economy and community life and transform it into a vibrant, connected and particularly safer place valued by locals and attractive to visitors.

Research was undertaken to understand how to utilise colour and light to affect mood and behaviour. Calming colours related to natural elements like the ocean, forest, and sunset where used in the ball lights, which were also designed to be interactive - sitting at 50% luminance until movement sensors triggered their brightness to 100%. Whiter street lighting was incorporated to brighten up the street and better illuminate the landscaping showing its natural colours and features which also enhanced the street.

What was the main design objective for the lighting scheme?

The project aim was to revitalise the local economy and community life and transform the precinct into a vibrant,safer placevalued by locals and attractive to visitors. Utilising colour and light to affect mood and behaviour, the artistic ball lighting is designed incorporating the concepts of environmental psychology and CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) to discourage crime and anti-social behaviour.

Coolangatta is closely connected to its beach which is highly valued by the locals and visitors. We wanted to bring that out in the street and visually connect the precinct to the beach and its relaxed character. During the day the balls are like large bubbles of sea foam and at night playful and vibrant.

Demonstrate how lighting complements the design of the space by day?

The distinctive environmental and physical features of Coolangatta beaches and headlands are recognised for their ecological, recreational and scenic values, and contribute to the local character, surfing culture and lifestyle of the area. Major surfing and cultural events occur in Coolangatta annually. During the day the ball lights appear as large white balls like large bubbles and sea foam.

Showcase how lighting enhances the use and experience of the space after dark?

The new decorative coloured ball lighting has transformed the street, enhancing its ambience, aesthetic and character, affecting mood, making the area inviting and safer at night. Many comments have been received from the public praising the new decorative ball lights saying that they have noticeably improved the night-time amenity and character of the precinct

Highlight lighting creativity, problem-solving and thinking-outside-the-box?

The research undertaken to utilise colour to affect mood was crucial. Many stakeholders were unconvinced that it would work and the ball lights would surely be damaged over time. The prototype design period was difficult and subject to risk aversion. Determination was needed to proceed. The electronic design was challenging in making the unit robust and interactive in this environment. Energex was also eventually convinced to upgrade the street lighting for better effective street illumination. Surveillance cameras are now capable of determining face recognition.

How did you take Dark Sky considerations (prevention of lighting pollution) into account for this project?

As Coolangatta is southern Gold Coast’s major centre and pre-eminent beachside tourist destination, it scores high in terms of lighting levels. However, a major problem within Griffith Street was the low lighting levels within this social context. Improved lighting was needed. The solution was to replace the Energex overhead street-lighting high pressure sodium lamps with metal halide lamps to effectively improve night time visibility within the street. The coloured ball lights were used to affect mood to reduce anti-social behaviour without overly adding to lighting levels. The ball lights are designed with internal proximity sensors that control light intensity from 50% to 100% when someone is in close proximity.

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