Renowned lighting designer Ingo Maurer has created a lighting installation with two towering disused blast furnaces at the Place des Hauts-Fourneaux square in Belval, Luxembourg.
Details: The lighting concept was created by Maurer for a newly developed commercial and residential city quarter, part of an extensive urban regeneration programme, in Esch-Belval, Luxembourg. Formerly a blast furnace in the state’s biggest ironworks, an impressive complex network of cylinders, tubes, pipes, stairs and beams rises up to the height of 94 metres. On the ground, five large white disks seem to hover, lighting it up.
“Standing in front of the furnaces is a very moving and emotional experience. They are the ‘cathedrals’ of the new part of Esch-sur-Alzette”, said Ingo Maurer in 2008 during a test lighting. “It was a huge challenge to provide a fitting lighting concept, and of course it is also a challenge to conserve them.”
The widespread use of coloured illumination of landmarks did not seem appropriate for this project. Instead, Maurer uses distinct contrasts of bright and dark areas, inspired by movie directors as Sergej Eisenstein.
Large parts of the furnaces are left in darkness; others seem to be lit up randomly. Their shadows appear on large tubes behind. Some parts of the rusty pipes seem to glow, but only glimpse of them is visible between other dimly lit pipes. Here, he uses some orange lighting, to emphasize the rust.
A searchlight is part of the installation, to be used on special occasions. For Ingo Maurer and his team, it was essential to capture the spirit of the place and to underline the role of the furnaces in the newly built surroundings.