Waterfall Wilds Centre, a recently opened retail centre in Waterfall Estate, is surrounded by grassland on three sides. The building, designed to have minimal impact on the environment, comprises 2900 m2 of retail space and offers patrons a delightful view of the Jukskei River. Created around Keith Kirsten’s nursery as its central attraction, the outdoor centre has a typically ‘South African’ feel about it.
João Viegas of Pamboukian Lightdesign (PLD) was the lighting designer on the project, working with architect Krynauw Nel and Eksteen and Le Roux, the consulting engineers. The brief was to create a lighting effect that would draw attention to the exterior landscape and illuminate features of the building in such a way that the building itself would not be the focus of attention but would instead glow from within, creating a lantern-like effect.
When contemplating the lighting design, João used minimal light. The inside of each of the retail outlets is illuminated by LED spots focused onto the columns and metal planes. At night, darkness shapes the space and the internal illumination, which is visible through the glazed sections, breaks the façade to create attractive, effective after dark lighting that does not impact on the night-scape.
Ambient lighting around the centre is supplied by custom designed adjustable, tubular downlights. In order to limit any possible discomfort through glare, the lamp is set back in the fitting and the 18 W 2700 K LED source provides excellent, comfortable illumination.
In harmony with the earthy, outdoor composition of the centre, façade lighting is focused only onto the stone walls – not onto any material that is not natural. LED tubular downlights and Gobo Floor Luminaires are used for this purpose. Designed by PLD and manufactured by Regent Lighting, the floor lights are 500 mm high and 400 mm in diameter. The fittings have a series of individually sized holes through which the light emits a gobo-like effect when switched on at night. Custom designed for Waterfall Wilds, the circles of light are warm and generate an attractive interplay of light and shadow to create an interesting dynamic along the stone wall façades.
To satisfy the requirement for a natural feel and the need to structure the parking space while supplying safety and security, the lighting in the parking areas combines natural and modern in custom made external street lights using gum poles as the support structures for modern light fittings. Also designed by PLD and manufactured by Regent Lighting, each gum pole is sliced lengthwise, replicating the bifurcating columns of the interior. This allows the fitting to be clamped between each ‘slice’ at the top of the pole. Known as ‘Kazo’, the fitting uses 27 W warm white single and double fittings specially fabricated to double volume height in order to house the LEDs and driver separately and to create an enhanced and more prominent visual effect.
In a city of malls, it is a welcome relief to visit a retail centre that settles into the landscape and offers sunset evenings and appealing views. The lighting installation at Waterfall Wilds is simple and effective and enhances rather than detracts from what nature has to offer.