As part of a much larger 388 acre redevelopment program in Hafencity, Hamburg, work was completed in November 2012, turning the University’s subway station into a vivid spectacle of light and colour.
According to Gerd Pfarre of Pfarre Lighting Design, “the original design brief was to create functional lighting for the platform, according to the norms for subway stations.”
Safe to say that the original plan sounded boring. Thankfully, they ignored this completely and created something awesome instead.
It was done by suspending a series of 12 custom-made metal framed glass boxes over the middle of the platforms. Each box weighs 6 tonnes, and measures in at the same dimensions as a shipping container – 6.5m x 2.8m x 2.8m.
The translucent panels are illuminated with 289 individual RGB LED emitters, allowing for completely independent control over each panel.
The lighting system doubles up as both a decorative and functional installation. Not only does the lighting illuminate the platforms below, but it also contributes a unique, colourful ambience to the station.
There’s nothing stopping the lights being used to signal the departure and arrival of trains, reflect the season or time of day, or even the mood of the subway station manager – let’s hope he’s a jolly fellow!
We think Pfarre Lighting Design and Raupach Architekten deserve a congratulations for thinking well outside the box on this one.