Cinimod Studio designed the lighting scheme for the new Eurostar Business Lounge in Paris Gare du Nord by Softroom Architects. The brief was to give passengers an improved customer experience and to create a space that explored what train travel means today; reinterpreting the relaxed glamour of past eras into a contemporary feeling space. Situated in the original Gare du Nord building, the lounge has been designed to take on a ‘human scale’, and to create the feeling of a relaxed Parisian apartment.
The lighting scheme works to create a cohesive and refined series of spaces within the one lounge, balancing the lounge’s contemporary use with the building’s history, textures, and traditional architectural details. A combination of functional and decorative lighting enhances the feeling of a ‘home from home’, with layers of task, ambient and decorative lighting, allowing flexibility for the lounge’s visitors. Ambient lighting adds contrast to each area, combining soft, relaxing general light with some strong sculptural effects to create a series of dramatic interjections into the visitor’s journey through the lounge.
The zoning for the lighting scheme focuses around two main concepts; wayfinding and place-making. Visitors’ waiting times within the lounge vary, and when not in transition, customers look to the lounge for respite; whether for relaxation or for work. One constant of the lounge however, is the continual move and flow of people. During peak times in the previous lounge, these two states of use often crossed the other; with the action of customers leaving en-mass disrupting the places of work or relaxation of others.
In the new lounge, lighting has been designed to clearly define areas of wayfinding from areas of ‘placement’. Whilst soft, diffuse, and non-directional fittings have been used to designate areas of stationary use, striking sculptural interjections at wayfinding routes work to create contrast and encourage movement along these routes.
In these areas, custom luminaires were developed to create strong sculptural features that ran down both the entrance and central corridors in the lounge. At the entrance corridor, shafts of light play across the marble floor; creating strong sculptural shapes of light that welcome people into the space. At the central corridor, a series of ‘tracks’ of light run along the length of the lounge; with each directing people toward a particular aperture or new area. To create these custom luminaires, Cinimod worked closely with manufacturers Mike Stoane Lighting to create a series of lighting solutions that were both refined in detail and effective in their installation.
Location: Gare du Nord, Paris
Lighting Design: Cinimod Studio
Main Contractor: Ateliers Normand
Electrical Contractor: Aintelec
French Architectural Liaison: Househam Henderson
Photo credit: Jack Hobhouse