Case study: Centraal Station

ETAP lights platforms in Antwerpen-CentraalThe imposing station building of Antwerpen-Centraal, one of the finest in Europe, celebrated its hundredth anniversary in 2005. During the last century, requirements have changed considerably in many areas: service, frequency, safety, speed, efficiency, etc. Therefore, the building was in need of renovation and extension.The question

Longer and longer trains need longer platforms complete with the necessary infrastructure for the travellers. Commissioned by Eurostation, architect Voncke designed an awning construction that could protect them from wind and weather and make waiting more pleasant. Lighting played an important part in this from the point of view of comfort, ergonomics and safety alike. The luminaires had to fit into a restricted space in the awnings. Belgian Railways (NMBS) asked for a finish that was visually uniform with the loudspeakers and that matched the awning construction in terms of colour and design.

The answer

Due to the various specific requirements. this was an interesting assignment for the lighting experts at ETAP. They developed luminaires that fit into the construction and are scarcely noticeable. The awning covering was made partly from glass so that maximum use could be made of the daylight. This reduces the number of lamp burning hours to a minimum. The characteristics of the light are of course also extremely important: the light must shine where it is needed – onto the platforms – and not onto the rails. In order to comply with these requirements, ETAP designed a special asymmetric reflector.

Because the luminaires are situated outdoors, they must be hard-wearing and weather-resistant. The housing is made from lacquered stainless steel plate. The whole unit is also dustproof and damp-resistant. This is important because trains release tiny particles of steel dust as they brake. If these were to get into the luminaires, patches of rust could form inside the luminaires within a few months. In order to ensure that maintenance is not too delicate a procedure and to prevent accidental damage, the luminaires have a high impact resistance factor of 20. The transparent protective cover is made of 6 mm thick polycarbonate.

In order to achieve a higher level of efficiency and to be able to direct the light more effectively, NMBS chose a high-quality low luminance reflector instead of the conventional industrial systems. Low luminance baffles prevent excessive reflection and glare from the lamp. This is important for the comfort of both travellers and train drivers. The luminaires were fitted with through-wiring in such a way that every other luminaire receives a guaranteed supply. They therefore function as emergency lighting in the event of a power supply interruption.

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