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PROJECT / RECOUVRANCE BRIDGE, BREST, FRANCE


083


BREST IS BEST


The Recouvrance lift bridge is one of the longest and highest in Europe and has re- cently undergone modernisation to welcome a tram line as part of the development of Brest’s transport infrastructure. The famous bridge overlooks the military port on the river Penfeld. It connects the left bank of the city to Recouvrance, one of the oldest parts of town. This iconic work of engineering replaced the Pont National swing bridge which was destroyed in Allied bombing in 1944.


Opened in 1954, the present lift bridge is considered a protected heritage item and a major characteristic work of post-war reconstruction.


French lighting manufacturer LEC Lyon collaborated with the Urban Community of Brest to provide a radical redesign of the lighting scheme on the bridge. By lighting the footpath using LED spotlights integrated


Form and function meet artistic application in difficult installation conditions to characterise this historic lift bridge lit by LEC Lyon.


into the handrail and illuminating the upper 44m of the four iconic 70m lift towers with artistic colour changing lightbars, the bridge now has a completely different identity at night. With very strict integration constraints, as well as photometric and aesthetic require- ments the project needed a high quality of lighting for both applications. As such, LEC met the brief by deploying two original product innovations for the first time on this iconic site. To fulfill the specification with traditional light sources would have been an incredibly difficult task so LEC’s Ligny 5635 LED wall washers were used. The use of red, green and blue LEDs provides a stunning artistic and flexible effect whilst maintaining high efficiency, unlike coloured filters which dramatically reduce the light output. In addition, a selection of high-performance


lenses focus the LED and provide a precise and impactful ‘painting’ of the 44m high bridge towers. This result also comes with a low energy consumption of just 300 watts per tower.


The LED source allowed LEC to design high power linear spotlights to continuously illuminate from the base of the tower. The colouring of the Recouvrance bridge towers is provided by diminutive 4.6m long light- bars, their compact design ensuring minimal visual impact of the installation itself. Christophe Cheron, architect with AOA, commented: “The Recouvrance Bridge is an emblem; it has always been visible from a long distance in both day and night. The previous neon-based lighting was costly in terms of maintenance and far less visually effective.


“During the renovation we wanted to pro- vide robust, functional and innovative


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