Heritage Building Illumination

The Downtown Victoria Illumination Design Guidelines set out ideas and guidelines for year-round and seasonal lighting of Commercial Buildings and Public Spaces. Quite simply, lighting is good business.

There are four key elements that sensitive lighting is designed to do:

  • attracting customers
  • improving security
  • unifying the streetscape
  • bringing attention to the architecture

Lighting Design should:

  • Express the character and individuality of each building. Every building should be assessed for its own distinct composition, design elements, and architectural details. Determine first what should be highlighted, carefully selecting features for emphasis.
  • Generally highlight the building and its architectural features rather than draw attention to the source of light itself. In other words, a scheme that highlights the building is usually preferred to twinkle lights that contour the building.
  • Respect the daytime appearance and architectural integrity of the building. Electrical wiring and equipment should be concealed from view wherever possible.

Fixture Design should:

  • Be appropriate to the style of the building. Suitable fixtures for heritage buildings include authentic period style fixtures (such as wall brackets) where visible, or contemporary fixtures (such as floodlights) to accent architectural details where concealed. Suitable fixtures for non-heritage buildings include designs consistent with the building style where visible, or other methods when concealed.
  • Use installation techniques and equipment that do not damage the building or its features.
  •  Use energy efficient sources. Many economic lighting types may be used including: wall brackets, compact flood lights, neon or fibre optic lighting and others.

CREDIT:  Downtown Victoria Illumination Design Guidelines, produced by Paul Merrick Architects Limited, F.N. Fenger & Associates and the Victoria Civic Heritage Trust, Spring 1998.



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