The Qatar government has launched a programme, called “Qatar’s National Vision” which aims to make Qatar a nation that will be able to sustain its own development and guarantee high quality standards to its inhabitants by 2030 according to 4 fundamental pillars of progress: Human, Social, Economic and Environmental. This wide-ranging plan includes the operations of The Qatar Railways Company, which in 2012 launched a competition for an integrated public transport project as a valid and pleasant alternative to private transport. The plan is still being developed and includes 4 metro lines and approximately 100 stations. In 2014 the project presented by UN Studio was named the winner of the competition on account of its successful reinterpretation of traditional regional architecture in a contemporary style. For the lighting design, UN Studio worked together with AG Licht to develop an artificial lighting system that was the most challenging element in the project and required highly innovative technological solutions.
AG licht based its lighting concept on a luminaire that in 2014 had yet to be invented: a light line with variable lengths that would also be able to twist and bend.
To create this luminaire, UN Studio and AG Licht invited lighting manufacturers to develop a solution and build a prototype. This invitation, however, carried no guarantee that the design proposed would necessarily be chosen for the production project and so most of the companies that had been contacted declined the invitation.
iGuzzini, on the other hand, decided to take up the challenge and using innovative materials and solutions it developed a prototype guaranteeing both stability and flexibility that was presented in a mock up installation created at the company. The decisive advantage of the new linear lighting system designed for AG Licht was the fire-resistant material used to create it and in 2017 an order was placed to install it in 29 stations in the metro network.
The luminaire developed by iGuzzini is safe and meets all the requirements of complex architectural projects, like this metro system. The key elements that characterised the product’s development were the use of a flexible and totally fireproof material for all the components in the luminaire and solutions that would make installation extremely simple. The trick was to divide the luminaire into three basic parts: the product’s main body, i.e. the structure that is installed in the ceiling; the light source, i.e. The LED line; and an opal screen. Everything was made with the same type of material.
The various components were supplied in different lengths, including: 20 metres, 5 metres and 50 metres, all of which were perfected through a close working relationship between architects, lighting designers and fitting companies to make installation easier at the work site, and to ensure a sharp and aesthetically satisfying end result by limiting the number of cuts and joints and making the final lighting effect absolutely homogeneous. The electrical parts of the luminaire have a high protection rating of IP 65 even if they are used indoors. In terms of linear extension, iGuzzini’s supply of light lines corresponds to approximately 23 km of lighting. The company’s organisation and its capacity to work together and operate at an international level has brought a number of other strategic benefits to this project, too. The company, for example, supplied the products in exceptionally short time, and worked together with no less than 5 consortiums involved in the “Design & Build” process, using the BIM (Building Information Modeling) method, a collaborative design method that enables information regarding all the various design, architectural, structural, system, energy and management phases to be integrated in a single model, which is then shared on line.
The operations carried out can be grouped into three categories: the central stations, i.e. the hubs between the lines, like the Msheireb station, which is characterised by extremely ample spaces in which numerous users can circulate; other stations with more reduced spaces, like the terminus’s, of which the Al Wakra station is an example and, lastly, the individual stations on the lines, like Al Matar at Qadeem.
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