The lighting design of Zerostrasse in Pula, a project realised by the team at Croatian firm Skira, under the creative leadership of Dean Skira, has won a prestigious DARC award in London.
The award ceremony took place on Thursday night at the famous London club Fabric with Skira winning the Darc award for the best urban and landscape lighting design in the Spaces – High Budget – category.
Awards were presented in six categories, and this year over 300 projects from around the world were nominated. In the urban and landscape lighting category, Skira beat the competition from the Four Seasons Hotel in Thailand to the Singapore Pavilion at the World’s Fair in Dubai.
The Zerostrasse underground network of tunnels, built in the Pula city centre during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was fully renovated last year under the direction of architect Breda Bizjak, and is used as a pedestrian zone with a central gallery and an elevator to the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria in Kaštela.
The lighting design solution designed by Skira provides comfortable linear lighting along the 2700 m2 hallways. The space completely isolated from daylight additionally gives importance to the lighting installation, which this time also follows Skira’s principle, and that is that the lamp as an object is less important in space, but the most important emotion that arises from the visual experience of the person who resides in it.
During the restoration, the attention was to preserve the rock mantle, which required the collection of all electrical installations in one route where lighting was also accommodated. The luminaires are hidden and placed in the metal construction below the ceiling surface, with several cave holes illuminated in red.
The red lighting is not that visible from a distance, it’s an element of surprise. Only in the central gallery additional led lines were added to illuminate the pillars and add more light for expositions and gatherings.
The only physically intervened areas were the concrete floors and the vertical elevator shaft between the tunnel and the fortress for museum visitors with disabilities, the elderly, and children. The lighting of the transparent elevator and the exit and entrance zone creates a welcoming ambience and enough illumination for orientation in an otherwise pretty dark atrium.
Chief Electrical Engineer and Project Manager at Skira, Godvin Poropat made sure that the complete electrical installation and sophisticated control system worked flawlessly and led all phases of the project and lighting.
The underground space, which was a shelter during the world war, now is a new attraction and is used as a shortcut to get from one side of the town to another.
The Darc Awards are an award given since 2015 by one of the most respected lighting design publications in the world, Arc and Darc Magazine in collaboration with Light Collective.
The award is specific in that an international jury of lighting designers selects submitted projects, after which lighting designers, architects and interior designers vote for their favourites. The Darc Awards are a true international recognition of colleagues in the field of lighting design and architecture.