Santa Fe Railyard Park: Santa Fe, NM

Lighting Designer:

The city of Santa Fe, New Mexico has revitalized its historic railway site, which used to be characterised by tracks, warehouses and workshops. The old railyard has become a special point of interest for the city. WE-EF luminaires provide dark sky friendly illumination to the attractively designed exterior landscape.

The first train reached Santa Fe in 1880. The area around the railway station, which is close to the city center, soon underwent a rapid boom. Its heyday lasted about 60 years, until the construction of national highways during the 1930s and the advent of air travel reduced travelling by train. In 1987, the City Council of Santa Fe decided on a fundamental revitalisation of the site. Since September 2008, the railyard has again become an important center of life in Santa Fe, and offers a lively mixture of restaurants, businesses, galleries and well-known art institutions. All these facilities are connected around an attractive exterior area that was designed by landscape architect Ken Smith.

The design concept, which is characterized by wood elements, was created by lighting designer Jim Conti. Following a one-to-one mock-up process using different products, Conti decided on WE-EF NFL340 street and area lighting luminaires. Mounted on wooden posts, the 100 W metal halide luminaires provide a full cutoff ‘side throw’ light distribution for the illumination of bike paths and footpaths as well as the station platforms for the New Mexico Railrunner Express and the Santa Fe South travel line. “The powerful NFL340 optics also made it possible to achieve the required illuminance with large distances between the pole positions, and thereby minimize the total number of required luminaires”, Jim Conti explained.

The large plaza of the railyard is illuminated by WE-EF LTP444 light columns, which are configured in a balanced grid. The plaza is located in the middle of the re-zoned old railway building. This is also the location of the water tower, the symbol of the railyard, which now serves as a rainwater storage tank for irrigating the park area. With their light distribution spread over three sides, the four-metre-high columns provide controlled general lighting for the plaza, while also defining organized spaces. WE-EF FLC131 projectors assume a special function in the Railyard Park. At Performance Green, a location for informal events, the projectors are also mounted on wooden posts and provide the stage light for evening performances in the park.