Published on: November 3, 2009
Lighting Planners Associates sent us this amazing project, Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims.
More information about the project from Lighting Planners Associates follows:
The atomic bomb (a plutonium-239 device) that was dropped on Nagasaki exploded over the city at 11:02 A.M. on August 9, 1945. This memorial hall was constructed as a site for commemorating the victims of the bombing and preserving accounts of atomic bomb experience for future generations. While the facility has been built entirely underground, the design of the aboveground entrance area features a monumental water basin 29 meters in diameter. Inlaid into the black granite submerged in the basin are 70,000 light fibers, representing the number of people who died from the bomb’s effects.
For the abolition of all nuclear weapons . . .
The gently wavering lights from 70,000 light fibers represent prayers of mourning for the victims and hopes for peace.
For the approach staircase, we used ambient, indirect lighting built into the handrail to guide the eye from the aboveground entrance into the underground area, with narrow, warm-white fluorescent lamps. We decided we needed to have mainly gentle, warm-white ambient light for the walkways. For areas requiring more functional lighting, we used glareless downlight, making every effort to eliminate glare from the normal field of vision.
Although the Remembrance Hall, is located underground, from the light from its skylight one can sense the passing of clouds and even the slow movement of the sun.Â Augmenting the natural lighting effects in this area are 12 pillars of light, each of them one meter square in girth and fitted with a 9-meter-high light pipe. The light pipes are lit by stark white metal halide lamps to create a symbolic contrast with the warm lighting of the surrounding space. The day-night inversionâ€”from natural light during the day, to the illuminated walls stretching up into the outdoor water basin at nightâ€”characterizes the straightforward overall concept behind the lighting design for this building.
In the Remembrance Hall, considerations of brightness or functionality were far outweighed by the need for a quality of light soothing to those who come here to pray for peaceâ€”a healing kind of light, one might say. This had to be a tranquil, sacred place, yet one with a visual impact that remains vivid in the memory long after one has left. When visiting the facility at dusk, the first thing one encounters is the host of 70,000 points of light shimmering in the huge water basin at the entrance. The light fiber tips peer out from tiny holes made at 87 mm intervals in the underwater stone, their tiny points of light wavering in ever-changing patterns through the rippling surface of the water. With the help of nature in the form of wind and water, this 1/f fluctuation effect sublimates the artificial light of light fibers into a soothing, healing kind of light. The effect of these myriad points of light is also enhanced by the stark white illuminated walls rising up at the rear. These walls of light are constructed with giant light pipes that reach up from the underground Remembrance Hall.
Note of the editor:
Please note the copyright of these images is retained by Lighting Planners Associates and the photographer Toshio Kaneko.Â Use of those images is subject to them being used for this article only. Publication of any image in any form or fashion must include a credit for both Lighting Planners Associates and the photographer.
Posted by: LuÄŤka Slatner