Randy Burkett Lighting Design collaborated with Brooklyn, New York based Michael Van Valkenburgh to help create a rich nighttime park experience for St. Louis, Missouri’s Kiener Plaza.
The renovation of Kiener Plaza is a centerpiece of the City’s downtown revival. The previous incarnation of this park was underutilized and limiting. The revised plan features two acres of pathways, open plazas, landscape, picnic areas, water features and an expansive oval meadow, all supportive of the community’s vision. The City stressed pedestrian orientation and wayfinding for the night, with reassurance the principal goal. Pedestrian scaled LED pole top light fixtures were selected for superior glare control and soft illumination at facial height.
Lighting helps heighten the hardscape zone’s appeal, further encouraging wayfinding and reinforcing a sense of place. Thirty-five foot high poles fitted with dimmable LED adjustable accent lights deliver precise, low-glare light. Ground-based accents reveal landscape/softscape as perimeter textural forms enveloping the park and relieving shadow zones.
Gathering areas are well-scaled and intimate at night with select highlighting from pole-based accent lights revealing tree canopies. Festive catenary light strings invigorate seating zones.
Lighting of the open lawn is in a manner unique to the City. The roof of a 42-story building positioned two blocks away from the lawn became the staging point for “moonlight” illumination. Full-scale rooftop mock-ups were done to fine-tune the concept and its effectiveness. Preset nighttime cues support up to (12) unique activity settings. The lawn is a centerpiece for open air concerts, special events or simply a magnet for kids to frolic in the moonlight.
Kiener Plaza is an unbridled success and a model for using light to energize the night.