Project Name: Windsor Plaza Beacon Design
Practice Name: ASPECT Studios
Project Address: Maddock Street, Windsor
Serving as an urban marker, the ‘Beacon’ is a bespoke lighting element that was designed and developed by ASPECT Studios with the creation of Windsor Plaza, an area of open public space situated outside Windsor Railway Station at the southern end of Chapel Street, Melbourne. The design approach and detailing of the ‘Beacon’ was to find a careful balance between referencing the significant history of the site’s context eg. Windsor Village, Chapel Street etc. and celebrating the quirky, contemporary vibe of Windsor today.
The Windsor Railway Station and Chapel Street Junction is an important point for visitors and locals. An entry point to Melbourne’s public railway transport system as well as marking the southern entry into Melbourne’s premier shopping strip, Chapel Street. The ‘Beacon’ is an iconic wayfinding, place marker that works by day and night to mark this location and gateway.
‘The Beacon’s’ design is an interpretation of the industrial heritage of Chapel Street and the surrounding railway. Echoing the forms of early electrical and telegraph poles with glass insulators, as well as giving a playful but thoughtful nod in the glamour and nightlife of Chapel Street.
To successfully compete with Chapel Street’s advertising signage, the light needed to be something bold and challenging - but grounded in history and detail. Made to replicate the glass insulators of the yester year, unique custom made, bespoke coloured acrylic insulators were designed. Consideration was taken when choosing the insulator colours so as not to conflict with any key colours used by the surrounding railway network. Special conduit requirements were needed in keeping the outreach arms as narrow as possible to highlight the lights rather than the overall structure. Contemporary LED technology allows light sequences to be programmed and runs through a blinking cycle that seeks to reference the prior Ballroom (burnt down) on site and the local Astor Theatre.
Whilst the overall effect of the ‘Beacon’ is to be recognisable and iconic, it’s overall light omittance is relatively low. Separate safetly lighting was provided across the public plaza that was directional and focused, to keep light pollution to a minimum.
The Beacon was designed by ASPECT Studio and manufactured in Melbourne resulting in a crafted lighting element that respond to the site’s rich heritage and ‘gritty’ qualities. The design approach is intentionally simple but effective.
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