Rennes is the capital of Brittany. Known for its mediaeval timber and stone houses, it boasts one of the most beautiful parks in France: the Parc du Thabor.
The city was almost entirely destroyed by a fire in 1720 and was rebuilt, offering an exemplary testimony to eighteenth-century urban planning. Its new streets and public buildings created architectural perspectives of great value.
For over 50 years, the historic centre was lit by traditional overhanging street lights. They had remarkable visual impact, both for their size and projection towards the centre of the street. This protrusion from the buildings made them highly evident.
In 2012 Rennes commissioned to French lighting design practice Concepto, led by Roger Narboni, ‘a Lighting Master plan for her whole territory to create a sober, developing, representative night-identity for the city and its past while reducing her energy consumption’. In collaboration with the City of Rennes, Neri designed a modern, linear LED luminaire, suitable for both wall and post installation.
The two solutions (wall and post) were used in diverse urban settings in the city centre: from building façades, where they were attached at a similar height to the previous lights, to squares and open spaces.
The linearity of the luminaire makes it easy to integrate into both classic and modern architectural settings.
It is possible to appreciate this dialogue of shapes in Rennes, shown by the images of the city’s various monuments (the Palais du Commerce and its dome, the Église Toussaints and the regional office of daily newspaper Ouest-France).
We capture the same dialogue of shapes next to modern architecture.
We also see it alongside old Breton houses and architecture from the 18th to 20th centuries.
This is how the main, widest streets now appear, where the new luminaires, integrated where necessary into lamp posts, were placed on both sides of the road.
In the smaller streets, however, installation was only necessary on one side.
We have dedicated the final chapter of this presentation to some architectural details in relation to the new luminaires: specifically, balconies and windows which take on a predominant role in urban perception, which is at times closely connected to nature.