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PONT SCHUMAN, LYON

In recent years, Lyon has carried out a wide range of interesting projects as part of its ambitious urban development.

The city’s goal was, and still is, the compaction of urban areas and the maintenance of green areas. With approximately 500,000 people living in its city center, Lyon is the third largest city in France after Paris and Marseille. The metropolis on the Rhône and Saône rivers aspires to become Europe’s research and innovation center – and for years has planned new neighborhoods expeditiously. Lyon is also one of the first French cities to utilize a Plan Lumière. Some new bridges have been built as part of this new urban plan, including Pont Schuman, which connects the districts of Croix-Rousse and de Vaise. Lighting designers and architects wanted to illuminate the bridge without using masts because it would have interfered with the architecture. As a result, the only possibility was to light the bridge from the sidewall. For this challenging project, ewo custom-developed new luminaires as well as a special lens; this allowed for the light distribution to be tailored specifically for the bridge.

The lighting designer, Joseph Frey, LEA (Les Eclairagistes Associes), delivered the appropriate technical lighting concept as well. The requirement was to achieve uniform lighting to the extent possible; this was achieved on the horizontal plane. Equally challenging, however, was to illuminate deeply in the vertical plane from a low mounting position. The light mounting height is 40 cm, and the bridge is uniformly illuminated 7.60 meters towards the center. We at ewo wish Lyon much success with further development of the city.


INTERVIEW WITH LIGHTING DESIGNER JOSEPH FREY

ewo developed a special lens for the Schuman Bridgeproject. What particular challenges had to be met?

The main challenge was to achieve a maximum evenness in both illuminance and luminance. Another was to ensure that no annoying glare would emanate from the bridge. It was also important to keep maintenance as easy as possible.In that, we succeeded.

What was your experience of this development process? Why did the lighting concept come so late?

I am very satisfied with the development process. Our collaboration with ewo worked very well; it was much more difficult with the client, and everything had to move really very quickly. There were several reasons that the lighting concept was developed as late as it was.The initial concept provided for a mounting height of 70 cm, as calculated from the street.Later on, engineers made the decision that the recesses would be built at a height of about 40 cm. That was the beginning of our problems (April 2013). Then we did some tests, but no lights existed on the market that could reach the depth required (going back to the 2010 competition). We then turned to ewo, and began working with them in September 2013.

What do you think of the end result?


From my point of view, the project is a success. But I also hope that the result is convincing for everyone, and that they feel the lights of the bridge are attractive.

Project: PONT SCHUMAN
Location: LYON, FRANCE
Client: GRAND LYON (COMMUNAUTÉ URBAINE DE LYON)
Architect: EXPLORATIONS ARCHITECTURE
Engineer: FLINT & NEILL (COWI GROUP) / AGIBAT (A-I-A)
Lighting Design: JOSEPH FREY, LEA (Les Eclairagistes Associes)
Project year: 2014
Photography: PASCAL SIMONIN