Masterfully striking the balance between old and new

Sydney, NSW

  • Completed2018
  • ClientCrown Group
  • ArchitectKoichi Takada Architects
  • “Reflect” Art InstallationRamus Illumination
  • FacadeAECOM, Inhabit Group, Surface Design Pty Ltd
  • PhotographyJackie Chan for WE-EF

In the heart of Sydney’s CBD sits an architectural award-winning brick masterpiece composed of over 300,000 bricks and spanning the width of an entire block, characterised by its unique sculptured arches. Created for Crown Group, the inspired brick façade pays homage to the historic Sydney buildings, while still exuding a modern inner-city living feel. The delicate detailing of the Bowral bricks used, and the red tones bring warmth to the suburban jungle that is the Sydney CBD. For this project, the lighting design challenge was to enhance that balance between old and new and accentuate the beautiful arches.

The two 29-storey towers were designed by world renowned Koichi Takada Architects. The $118M project took 163 weeks to build and contains 148 apartments.

In lighting the beautiful arches, there were several important considerations:
– Discreteness of luminaires; blending into the surrounds rather than standing out
– Flexible mounting options
– Quality optics with the ability to tightly control and direct light whilst preventing glare
– Longevity and robustness of luminaires given close proximity to the harbour
– Minimal need for maintenance, backed by confidence in a strong supplier warranty
– Safety for pedestrians in the area

A combination of 16 x WE-EF FLC121 3000 K medium beam projectors with linear lenses and glare shields were chosen, together with 14 x FLC121 3000 K very narrow beam projectors fitted with framing snoots for tight cut-off, these were mounted in a variety of positions to artfully distinguish the features of the delicate brickwork arches. The small and sleek stature of these products in ‘signal black’ colour allows the luminaires to blend in discreetly while delivering a beautiful ambient warm light, wherein which the light source is barely visible.

For uplighting, ETC330-GB 3000 K very narrow beam, gimble inground luminaires were used with anti-slip coating. In a busy CBD, an in-ground that could prevent any slipping hazards was important, as was the ability to precisely direct light only where it is needed by angling the gimble and using with a very narrow optic.

The 3000 K colour temperature selection was important in accentuating the earthiness of the red bricks. With less blue content than 4000 K which is traditionally used around the CBD, the warmer 3000 K colour, creates a more enchanting, welcoming feel while also bringing the warmth out of the architecture. At the same time, with less blue content, 3000 K is also less disruptive to local ecosystem at night.

Being harborside, marine grade aluminium and a strong corrosive-resistant coating were important attributes needed, to ensure maximum longevity of the installation. Having established a strong reputation for quality robust products with a well regarded 5CE + Primer anti-corrosion coating process (that is now standard for all WE-EF products in Australia and New Zealand), WE-EF was also selected due to the comprehensive 10 Year Warranty provided to back up the renowned quality, as involved stakeholders knew the installation would require little to no maintenance for many years to come.


The combination of WE-EF luminaires gently and precisely illuminate the façade. The clever lighting design and use of snoots and glare shields ensure there is no unnecessary light spill, and that the beam is targeted directly to frame the iconic arches, really enhancing the heritage aesthetics and the warm 3000 K temperature creates an earthy, enchanting ambience. With the uplighting application, the gimble and very narrow beam combination is well considered to ensure the light is, once again being directed sharply to where it is needed.

Portland CBD, street and area ASP530
June, 2022