The new Hafencity University subway station in Hamburg has been recently completed, in November 2012. The project was made by Raupach Architekten, from Munich, in collaboration with Pfarré Lighting Design for the decorative lighting project.
The collaboration between Raupach Architekten and Pfarré Lighting Desing seems more than a fortunate encounter. Both firms work is tied to concepts like integration, in the place or into the architectonic space, discretion or simplicity, looking for the kind surprise more than the flashy or spectacular impact.
This appears to be the starting point from where they have approached this project execution. However, some intrinsic stimuli to the previous conditioning facts have allowed the proposal of a really catchy yet coherent and with some content image. The space designed by Raupach Architekten tries to identify with the place which gives access by employing materials, textures and formal solutions present in the area: steel containers, port light reflections and university life. Everything as a skin for a simple and functional space.
Decorative lighting becomes functional
This way, the main focus of the image of the space goes to the decorative yet functional lighting. It is a light-containers row hanging over the middle of the platforms. They are made in steel and translucent panels, and their dimensions are the same of a standard shipping container. Inside each one of these containers, 280 RGB LED give the chance to characterize them individually, accordingly to strictly functional patterns -train arrivals or departures- or more poetical or decorative ones -outside temperature, season, or light game.
Once again we can observe how the right dialog between architectonic space and decorative lighting can make a powerful and catchy whole, without losing balance and coherence.