The Galata Tower expresses itself differently with its new lighting. The tower which has been built in the 5th century by the Byzantines served as a defense tower to the Galata walls in the 13th century during which its name got changed to the Tower of Christ by the Genoese. The Ottomans continuously restored the tower which turned it into one of the main city symbols nowadays.
This tower which has been the main icon on many municipal, corporate and cultural event logos, has always been one of the main attractions for visitors that stands as a symbol for the culture and life of the city with both its ruling location and its 360 degrees of view of the city from its terrace.
Nergiz Arifoğlu Lightstyle Architectural Lighting Design office has created the new lighting design of this valuable building which is under the control of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the Istanbul Energy Co. The new design has been rapidly implemented after a long process of planning, testing, and approval.
During the study of the lighting for the Galata Tower many different aspects have been considered; such as how this historical building has to be lightened from different points of view of the city, mounting principles without harming the artifact, from where the energy should be obtained, feasibilities, aesthetics, economy and the criteria for new technological investments. Along with all these criteria it was also set as a target that this building should serve as a role model for a future Lighting Master Plan of Istanbul.
The main objective of the lighting design plan for the tower was that it would present an impressive and pleasant image that would emphasize the architectural texture, form, and features which carry traces from the past, which would be symbolic and substantially permanent and in line with the urban identity of the city. Briefly befitting the city with all its aspects.
For the facade lighting of the Galata Tower following criteria has been set as reference:
Aesthetics: To create an aesthetic image that would not affect the existing daytime image, however, that would add visual richness at nighttime.
Technical suitability: today's best suitable technology
Ease in execution, administration, and maintenance
Economy: acceptable reasonable costs for execution and administration
Respect to the artifact: prevention of any damage during assembly and operation
Added value to the urban identity of the city: The tower as a reference point of Beyoglu, the center of culture and art within the silhouette of Istanbul to be controlled within a system that allows to express itself.
The lower body of the tower is being lit by projectors placed away from the sight level so that it creates an impactful scene from both an urban scale and a human scale approach. This also gives the people sitting or walking around the square who cannot see the peak of the cylindrical structure which they perceive as a stone body more aesthetical. The decorative scones positioned around the tower are in a visual relation with the environmental texture. This way the sitting and walking areas around the square are illuminated centering the surrounding of the tower.
One of the main points of attention of the tower is the restaurant with the large and deep arched windows built with bricks and the cafe above it with the surrounded balcony. On both floors, the interior lighting was created in such a way without disturbing the atmosphere and the visual comfort but enabling a clear sight to the outside. The restaurant and cafe floors on the tower have been illuminated with a special blend of colors that brings out the fired brick color, in harmony with the silhouette colors of Istanbul at night but still in a different tone giving a color temperature of brick, sunset crimson, and flame tones.
Sphere lighting fixtures have been positioned on the balcony poles all-around the tower to create a sparkle and circulatory effect. The cone on the top of the tower has been illuminated with small-sized but high-power LED projectors creating a rally effect on the top. The same projectors have also been used to illuminate the crescent on the top of the cone making it shine.
The legendary love story that has been told for centuries about the Galata Tower and Maiden's Tower which were unable to come together has also been included as a symbol in the lighting design. The little windows on the cone of the tower rising with its new fairytale image into the night, which are like the eyes of the tower spying upon Istanbul, have been fitted with flashing lights as if they would be blinking to the Maiden’s Tower which is another way of expressing the never-ending love of Galata Tower for the Maiden Tower.
Project Owner: Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Istanbul Energy Co. Lighting Design: Nergiz Arifoğlu Lightstyle Architectural Lighting Design and Consultancy Consultant: Prof.Dr. Rengin Ünver
Products Used: The upper part and the cone: Philips-Color Graze Powercore, Philips-Ew Graze Powercore, Philips-Archipoint IColor, Philips-, Philips-EW Burst Powercore. Philips Sistem Setup: LightApp Aydınlatma The lower part of Tower: Siteco Sicompact Mini, Bega-Aplik