The renovation of the Centro Comercial Diagonal Mar—one of the largest shopping centers in Barcelona, Spain—covers more than 1 million square feet across three retail floors and two parking levels. Rectangular in plan, the mall’s main axis consists of a long corridor punctuated by three rotundas. A glazed barrel vault runs the length of the third-floor corridor, allowing daylight to permeate all three retail floors.
The retail hub’s new lighting scheme, conceived by local firm BMLD Designing with Light, emphasizes both the extensive glazing and the linearity of the space and plays with geometrical elements of the architecture. Linear LED lights with opal diffusers underscoring the length of the corridor are integrated into ceiling edges, below escalators, and adjacent to handrails. Required lighting levels were achieved through recessed ceiling downlights set within acoustic ceiling panels.
To accentuate the rotundas’ circular forms, BMLD created a series of ethereal installations. First, it designed a spiral of lighting from the lowest floor to the third floor, integrating LEDs into the handrails that outline the openings of each rotunda atrium. Within the central rotunda, circular media walls augment the lighting scheme. The secondary rotundas each feature a free-floating sculptural installation comprising a suspended white grid armature that dangles a 4-inch-diameter, ribbed-glass bead every 18 inches; each bead integrates a 3-watt, DMX-controlled white LED, providing both brightness and movement in the space. An additional large-scale sculpture that suspends the glass beads at a uniform height from the glazed vault runs along the third floor. All lighting systems are dimmable and 3000K.
Throughout the retail center’s interior, natural and electric light coexist and complement each other, resulting in an environment that is conducive to shopping and people-watching.
“The layering is organized, interesting, and still elegant.” —Rebecca Ho-Dion, lighting design director, ALULA Lighting Design
Project Name: Centro Comercial Diagonal Mar, Barcelona, Spain
Architect: Francesc Rifé Studio, Barcelona • Francesc Rifé, Sonia Pellicer
Architect of Record: CC245 Arquitectos, Barcelona • Sergi Blanch Rabat, Maria Ribas
Lighting Designer: BMLD Designing with Light, Barcelona • Birgit Walter, Iván Bravo, Fernando Pérez, Daniela Torres
Engineer: J.G. Ingenieros Asociados • Xavier Llasera
Photographer: Marek Jarosz
Project Size: 100,500 square meters (1.08 million square feet)
Project Cost: Withheld
Lighting Cost: Withheld
Watts per Square Meter: 7.4 (0.69 watts per square foot)
Code Compliance: National energy efficiency code Código Técnico de la Edificación (CTE); Valor de Eficiencia Energética de la Instalación (VEEI) of 2.78 watts per square meter per 100 lux
Manufacturers: AvantLED, Xicato, Lutron