This story was originally published in Architectural Lighting.

Ines Leong

Located in the southwest section of the Chinese city of Changsha, this new urban axis creates a multi-functional public space for visitors to enjoy the panoramic views of Lake Meixi and the city’s planned expansion. The 111.5-foot-tall structure rises above a manmade plateau on the lake and features an exposed ramp that varies in width from 20 feet to 26 feet as it spirals from the base to the top of the structure. An interior ramp provides access back down to the new public plaza.

Ines Leong
Ines Leong

In order to create a specific nighttime identity for the Helix, the lighting design firm OVI purposely concealed fixtures from view so that the architectural surfaces appear backlit. A concealed linear LED cove uplight illuminates the underside of the ramp creating a continuous ribbon of light that guides visitors. RGBW LED luminaires were selected to distinguish the different ramp surfaces with a subtle color temperature variation. An illuminated handrail provides an additional layer of light to help navigate the ramp. The Helix becomes an arrival and a departure point as light weaves the surrounding natural element of water together with this new urban development.

Ines Leong

Jury Comments:
The lighting provides a clear design element that unifies the project and creates a bold urban statement. • The lighting helps convey a sense of movement.

Project: Meixi Urban Helix, Changsha, China
Client: City of Changsha, China
Architect: KSP Jürgen Engel Architekten, Frankfurt, Germany
Lighting Designer: Office for Visual Interaction (OVI), New York
Team Members: Jean Sundin and Enrique Peiniger
Photographer: Ines Leong
Project Size: 20,000 square meters (approximately 215,278 square feet)
Project and Lighting Costs: Confidential
Watts per Square Foot: Not Available
Code Compliance: Not Applicable
Manufacturer: Filix, Reggiani, SDCL, We-ef, XAL

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