Nikhita Nandini Prasad

Illuminated Haven

Bachelor of Design Public Space Experience Design Public Film

Pedestrian walkway through Fort Lane

The mid-block location of Fort Lane means that it is a convenient shortcut for pedestrians and vehicles. Sharing the lane however, creates tension between these two groups. Through my elevated walkway, pedestrians are able to walk through the lane without worrying about their safety, while service access for vehicles remains. To move beyond a feeling of safety to an experience of pleasure, the walkway contrasts the solid enclosing structures of Fort Lane and creates a light and airy passage for pedestrians.

In an age where, for environmental and experiential reasons, urban spaces must cater primarily for pedestrians, alleyways must be made safe, accessible and enjoyable. By creating an elevated pedestrian walkway which runs the length of Fort Lane, I hope to help move towards this. In doing so I looked through a cinematic lens, using the technique of high-key lighting to lift the space’s mood. In cinema, this style of lighting often creates scenes which are optimistic and upbeat. The audience may not even realise that the lighting is subtly affecting their moods and perceptions of what is happening. This lighting strategy, combined with my handling of materials will make Fort Lane a unique space in the city. For those travelling underneath, the light coming through the layers of perforated metal and coloured acrylic creates intrigue. To the pedestrians travelling on the walkway itself, the experience is immersive. Dichroic film on acrylic sheets reflects different colours as light hits it at different angles. Combined with my high-key lighting and transparent materials this produces not only a visual contrast to the heavy brick and concrete buildings of the lane, but makes pedestrians themselves feel airy and weightless.