Our vibrant lighting added dramatic architectural accents and safety lighting features to True North Square Plaza, and helped to anchor the heart of the sports and entertainment district of downtown Winnipeg.
STYLISH SIGHTS, STYLIN’ SITE LINES
True North Square was purposefully designed to engage people and provide a spacious and welcoming urban plaza, all year ’round. This outdoor public space is intimate enough for everyday use, yet easily energized into an active market square, and can even accommodate the gathering of thousands during special events, such as sports games, festivals, and concerts.
Creating a cohesive, open space, providing for seamless pedestrian flow, and ease of accessibility and safety for all, were at the forefront of the project plan. The ensemble of illuminated built structures that bring the design together successfully include three main components; curving benches at the lower plaza level, the elevated, glass-walled skywalk above, and a sweeping grand staircase detail to connect these site specifics on a human scale.
BENCHES, SKYWALK AND STAIRCASE, OH MY!
The ground level blends softscape and hardscape construction, and includes a total of five distinctive curved, concrete benches, which are strategically set around the perimeter of the plaza. The oversized, custom built seating is illuminated from underneath with BL neonVIEW FLAT 4000K, making the benches appear to levitate off of the plaza floor, and float in mid air. The tight bending radius of BL neonVIEW makes it easy to follow the unique freeform shapes, and effortlessly curlicues around the underside of the benches, while our hallmark seamless back lead connectors provide superior weatherability in the harsh Canadian climate, and allow all the wiring to be completely hidden within the structure, eliminating any breaks or shadows. This creates a cloudlike effect, which punctuates the base of each bench with a buoyant glow.
The grand staircase connects the plaza to the concourse level, overlooking the site and creating a strong sense of orientation, while facilitating vertical circulation around the square. Curved podium style benches are integrated into the stairway, evoking a terraced amphitheater appearance. Underlit by BL neonVIEW FLAT 4000K, the precisely placed curvilinear lighting draws the eye to the grand stairway, and enhances safety and wayfinding, while mirroring the glow effects created below. The minimal dimension of the FLAT series allows the lighting to curve and flex fluidly, blending smoothly and seamlessly into the well constructed architectural detail.
BL neonVIEW DOME RGBW was chosen to provide active highlighting above the plaza, where Winnipeg’s signature skywalk network is vertically integrated into True North Square. The indoor skywalk ceiling cove is enhanced with cosmic-like color options, and the skybridge exterior is delineated with two continuous lines of vivid light, raising the bar for linear lighting design. The RGBW feature allows for cool lighting effects, as color and scenes can be easily controlled to set the tone for holiday festivities, select team colors for a hometown game day, or to choose a mood fit for any observance or special event. The bright, active illumination is very enticing, and draws the eyes upwards, where the high, fully transparent glass walls of the indoor walkway provide views from the plaza, through interior spaces and to the streets on the other side.
PLACEMAKING FOR THE PUBLIC
What started out as a stark, surface parking lot, was stunningly transformed into a pedestrian focused, dynamic plaza. Our highly visible lighting accents helped to improve the feeling of safety, encouraged pedestrian connectivity, and enhanced engagement in this exciting community hub. The layers of BL neonVIEW provided a diversity of lighting within the beautifully conceived, open-air square, helping to coordinate and connect the different space uses in the heart of the city.