Other Activity

Night Walks in Basel


Basel Architecture Week 2022 2022.05.10 & 05.13 Lisbeth Skindbjerg Kristensen+Kelly Bannwart+Michael Hübscher

■ At the Biegining In January 2022, Kelly Bannwart and Michael Hübscher from the Basel Lighting Design office HÛBSCHER GESTALTET contacted the Lighting Detectives to ask if it would be possible to do a col laboration during the upcoming Basel Architecture week. It was quickly agreed that Lighting Detective core member Lisbeth Skindbjerg Kristensen, who currently lives in Basel, would participate. The theme of this year’s Architecture week was “Reale Räume” (Real Spaces) of three current development sites: Dreispitz Münchenstein), Bachgraben (Allschwil) and lybeck (Basel). The AWB uses various formats to promote dialogue between experts and local protagonists. The Forum offered an opportunity to discover these sites and exchange views on the urban transformation process with the various stakeholders. For the night walks Hübscher Gestaltet had chosen to focus on the areas of Dreispitz and Klybeck. Both areas are currently undergoing transformations from mainly industrial to mixed use and residential neighbourhoods.

Michael Hübscher and Lisbeth Kristensen welcome the group and introduce the route and purpose of the night walk
Discussing the value of lighting as a wayfinding and informative tool
Hero: An evenly lit passageway where public and private lighting elements supplement each other
Hero: The illumination of the plaza creates a nice ambience with paths illuminated for safe passage across the space.
Villain: Observing the abrupt threshold between light and dark waiting to see if glary security lighting will be activated.

■ Night Walk 1

Basel Dreispitz May.10(Tue) Dreispitz (21h to 23h) Number of participants: 14 (with various backgrounds, mostly not related to lighting) Dreispitz is a mixed use semi-industrial area located in the southern part of Basel (Münchenstein). The area originally contained warehouses and old industrial buildings. In the past two decades, a transformation of the area has slowly been taking place, and today. Dreispitz is also home to the FHNW Academy for Art and Design, The House of Electronic Art, several small to medium size businesses, as well as apartment buildings. Besides from the area around the Academy of Art and Design and its adjacent Plaza, the lighting is still very much influenced by a utilitarian and industrial approach with a primary focus on traffic safety and building security. The main topics for the evening’s discussions were functional lighting, lighting levels, light pollution, security, and light trespassing, as well as issues of glare and adaptation. To show how lighting can quickly transform the ambience of a space, we also made a small “light-up” intervention in an area much in need of some focal points.


■ Night Walk 2

Basel Klybeck May13 (Fri) Klybeck (21h to 23h). Number of participants: 18 + 1 dog (a few lighting professionals)

Welcome the group and introduce the night walk route and the Lighting Detective concept.
Route Map
Route Map
Villain: The lighting of the Parking garage is glary and spills onto the surroundings.
Villain: The harsh security lighting creates extreme glare and light pollution, and it actually makes it more difficult to see the surroundings outside the spotlight.
Hero: The moonlit park. The group got to observe how much we can actually see and appreciate the darkness and the moon light when there are no disturbing light sources around. It was also discussed how this is only possible in an urban area where people feel safe.

Klybeck is a neighborhood located in north-eastern Basel on the brink of the Rhine river. The area has long been dominated by the presence of large industry giants such as BASF and Novartis, but it also has several residential areas as well as a local park. Despite of the presence of large corporate buildings, Klybeck has quite a community feeling. The walk lead us into the more residential areas and through the Horburg Park. As on the previous night walk the discussions quickly centered around the relationship between the site and the lighting, appropriate lighting levels, light pollution, and light trespassing, as well as issues of glare and adaptation. All participants had been asked to bring a flashlight, so we also held a small “light-up ninja” on a parking garage. Unfortunately this was stopped by the police, who had been alerted by worried neighbors who thought we were illuminated activists. Luckily it all ended in a peacefully manner and everyone had a good laugh. ( Lisbeth Skindbjerg Kristensen)

Villain: Street lighting which causes glare and is poorly adapted to the space.
A small light-up was held in the Horburg park to discuss the effects of landscape illumination and the use of colour on natural elements (both pictures).
Villain: Overly bright and poorly shielded pathway lighting visually trespasses and disturbs the surrounding area.
Villain: A strange and unmotivated placement of a luminaire with no apparent function and lighting purpose destroys the night time ambience of the park.