Lighting Design at Award-Winning Airport Pays Tribute to Province’s Logging History

A Light Image2 LR 1

October 12, 2022

Vancouver International Airport has been recognized by Skytrax™ as the Best Airport in North America for a record 12 years in a row. Indeed, one of the elements that contribute to its success is its carefully curated architecture, design, and artwork, which reflect the heritage and landscape of British Columbia. Its core theme, “Sense of Place,” draws on the motifs of land, sea, and sky throughout the terminals.

Renovation of the airport’s international departure area, known as Pier D, stayed true to this theme. It introduced, among other things, an exterior atrium with live hemlock trees and a nature-inspired digital experience.

Kasian Architecture was responsible for interior design and planning, and WSP was brought in as consultants for several elements, including lighting. The WSP lighting team replaced the original fluorescent technology with A-Light’s Atom linear LED luminaires.

Various patterns of Atom are suspended across the vast ceiling in a seemingly random pattern. In four, eight and 12-foot lengths, identical sizes are never side-by-side. The pendants are also suspended at various angles and heights – from 3.5 meters to 5 meters above the floor – but all luminaires’ pivot points rest at the same elevation.

“The Atom linear fixtures are meant to emulate a log jam,” explained Michael Graham, principal and senior lighting designer at WSP. “Logging has been an integral part of BC’s roots, and historically the lumber industry transported logs by floating them down the nearby Fraser River.”

 

A Light Image3 LR 1

 

Beyond the striking aesthetic, the luminaires provide uniformly lit direct illumination down to the passenger walkways and seating areas and indirect illumination up to the 8-meter ceilings. Because of Atom’s HE Tech™ lens’ performance and the efficiency of the luminaires, Graham was able to minimize the number of fixtures required, which enhanced the overall design.

A-Light customized the Atom housing aesthetic; each length is designated green, turquoise, or purple, to match the airport’s signature color scheme.

“At 3.5” in diameter, the Atom luminaires are much slimmer than the original fluorescent fixtures,” said Graham. “But because the indirect lens is quite narrow, while delivering the significant Lambertian distribution that we needed to illuminate the high ceiling, there is still enough fixture housing visible to show off the tubes’ unique colors.”

Floor-to-ceiling glass windows bring significant daylight into the space on a sunny day. All fixtures, therefore, feature dimming capability and are automatically adjusted to adapt to the time of day, weather, and season. This contributes to the passenger experience while reducing energy costs.

 

A Light Image4 LR 2

 

Graham selected 3500K temperature for the luminaires to ensure passengers are comfortable in the space and can enjoy activities such as reading as they await an evening flight.

Vancouver airport’s team can anticipate reduced maintenance time and costs with the longer-life LEDs in Atom. And because the fixtures are fully enclosed, relative to the original fluorescent technology, dust and dirt will also be less of a concern.

“The Atom luminaires are fantastic,” Graham said. “We enhanced the original lighting concept and design by using newer technology in a very attractive fixture. We now have plans to specify Atom in other phases of the airport renovations.”

PROJECT NAME: Vancouver International Airport – Pier D

LOCATION: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

PROJECT COMPLETION: March 2021

ARCHITECT: Kasian Architecture

LIGHTING DESIGN: WSP

AGENT: Symmetry Lighting

PHOTOGRAPHY: Martin Knowles Photo/Media

Related Articles


Changing Scene

  • 5 Simple Steps Towards Sustainable Lighting

    February 20, 2024 Here are five practical actions you can take –today! – to move towards designing more sustainably. Sustainability in lighting – a broad, sometimes confusing topic, that can be looked at in many ways. Circular lighting economy, material ingredient reporting (MIRs), environmental product declarations (EPDs), life cycle analyses (LCAs), factory working conditions, carbon… Read More…

  • Lighting Design International Calls for Greater Sustainability Across Lighting Design Projects

    February 19, 2024 Leading lighting design consultancy, Lighting Design International (LDI) has been raising awareness of the need for greater sustainability across the built environment. LDI’s Associate, Arianna Ghezzi, shared these principles as part of a panel discussion at the recent and most successful Surface Design Show. The talk focused on Circularity in Lighting, and… Read More…


Design

  • Case Study: Windsor Family Credit Union (WFCU) with Salex SW

    Case Study: Windsor Family Credit Union (WFCU) with Salex SW

    February 6, 2024 Since 1940, WFCU Credit Union is a prominent and forward-thinking financial institution based in Windsor and Essex County. For over 80 years, WFCU has been dedicated to serving Ontario residents, community, organizations, small businesses, commercial entities, and public institutions. Their new headquarters in Kitchener was created as they continue to grow their… Read More…

  • Coaticook Suspended Footbridge: An Ever-Changing Luminous Canvas, Painted by Nature

    Coaticook Suspended Footbridge: An Ever-Changing Luminous Canvas, Painted by Nature

    December 5, 2023 At 170 m (554 ft) long and 50 m (160 ft) high, the Coaticook Canyon Bridge at Parc de la Gorge de Coaticook is one of the longest suspension footbridges in North America and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Eastern Townships. For several years, the Parc de la… Read More…


New Products

  • LED Hi-Pro Expandable Lamp from Satco Nuvo Offer 320 Degree Rotation for Light Positioning

    LED Hi-Pro Expandable Lamp from Satco Nuvo Offer 320 Degree Rotation for Light Positioning

    February 22, 2024 SATCO|NUVO’s LED Hi-Pro Lamps offer a 320° rotating EX39 base making the installation of these lamps easier than ever. The two different on-unit CCT and Wattage Selectable switches give the user the power to customize the lighting for each unique environment. The notable design of the expandable light panels, when used in… Read More…

  • LED PIR Sensor Lamps from Satco Nuvo

    LED PIR Sensor Lamps from Satco Nuvo

    February 21, 2024 SATCO|NUVO’s PIR screw-base lamps with integrated motion sensor turn any luminaire into a motion activated light source without added wiring. Conveniently install lamps to improve safety and security in any application. Available in A19 and PAR38 bulb shapes and rated for wet locations, these lamps can be used indoors or outdoors, and… Read More…