The Schlossgarten, with its central location, is a vital part of the urban fabric of the state capital Stuttgart. The eight-kilometer-long park, which is divided into upper, middle and lower sections, forms the “Green U” together with other green spaces such as Rosen-steinpark.
However, what gives a friendly appearance during the day, turns into a different feeling in the evening.
The lighting in the castle garden plays a main role in this. It has been continually criticized for being too dark and dim. The old path lighting did not create a sense of security for visitors crossing the castle garden in the evening. There was neither sufficient brightness nor correct illumination of the paths. This was recognized by the state of Baden-Württemberg and prompted the renewal of the path lighting in the Upper Castle Garden.
Analysis of weak points and conceptualization
Studio DL conducted an analysis and identified problem areas in the lighting. By means of luminance measure-ments, areas that were too dark could be clearly detected and quantified. As a result, a concept was developed that sees the pathway lighting not as a solitary part, but as an integral part of the overall Upper Castle Garden ensem-ble. The new, sphere-topped luminaire derives its design language from the design features of the castle park. The composition of the pathways and small-scale architecture harks back to the time of the Federal Garden Shows in Stuttgart.
After various mock-up sessions, which took place in in-dividual phases in small groups to find the right lighting product, a model with a visible golden LED reflector sys-tem was chosen. This takes up the aesthetic framework of the castle garden and reproduces it in a high quality and appropriate manner. The choice of a warm light col-or of 2700 Kelvin was made to ensure the light was in-sect-friendly. The harmony of the design elements, as well as the safety-relevant aspects was the main focus of the lighting concept.
Digitization of lighting
With an electronic radio module insert in the luminaires, each individual light point can be controlled remotely. Current status information of each individual luminaire, such as functionality, can be queried and energy monitoring of the entire system can be carried out. The individual luminaire locations communicate with each other and build a so-called “mesh” so that the control information sent is reliably received by the correct luminaire. The new, digitized lighting system is thus one of the most modern in the state of Baden-Württemberg. In the first instance, however, the control is not only intended for problematic situations, but as a reaction to the environment. Insects, bats and birds should not be affected by the lighting. For this, a seasonal, variable control of the lighting is important in order to take into account breeding times and phases of activity of the animals.
2020 Stuttgart Riot Night
The upper Schlossgarten has been considered a problem hotspot for quite some time. “Drugs, alcohol, insults, disrespect” – that’s how the situa-tion in Schlosspark was summarized in an article at the time by the spokesman for the Baden-Württem-berg Police Union. The incident, now known nation-ally as the “Stuttgart Riot Night,” taking place on the 21st of June 2020, which began in the Upper Palace Garden, further focused attention on the current lighting situation and the lack of a sense of security in the area.
The police also criticized the condition and called for improvements for acute situations. In the future, the police will have the possibility to access the lighting control externally. In the event of another conflict situation, the police could brighten the area, making it easier for officers on the scene to see and orient themselves. The planning decision not to operate the luminaires at full capacity proved to be a stroke of luck and provides the necessary brightness reserved for special situations. In every-day use, the luminaires are deliberately dimmed in order to create a soft, comfortable atmosphere in the Upper Castle Garden and eliminate the risk of glare for visitors.