A striking and important historic place of worship gets a new lighting design
When entering or exiting Brussels from the north, one can’t help but witness the splendour of the cathedral sized Church of Our Lady of Laeken. Starting in 1854 with construction being completed in 1909, this undisputed icon of the city is close to the royal residence of the Royal Castle of Laeken and houses a crypt that holds entombs the Belgian Royal Family and all its former kings. The square and the church are important historical and civic sites popular today.
The neo-Gothic church has three main decorative elements in its construction: the ornate and storied front with its vestibule and towers; its elaborate, windowed sides; and the equally embellished rear chapel. Each of these areas comprises architectural elements and styles from various periods and different styles, in addition to representative Gothic elements, such as pointed arches, throughout.
Fiorenzo Namèche with his team of LIGHT-TO-LIGHT, began lighting concepts for the church in 2011. The clients wanted a lighting concept that would accentuate and reveal the multitude of historic architectural elements while keeping any installation disturbances to the heritage structure to a minimum. The overall concept was to play with white and amber light on columns and behind them respectfully and harmonically, to create an intricate shadow play among the architecture’s reliefs through depth of field and contrast, and to elevate the entire structure’s presence within the nightscape of Brussels. LIGHT-TO-LIGHT’s skilful concept uses “golden” light for the cavities and passages behind the columns while laying white light over the architectural elements in the foreground.