Cathedral of Granada

Energy-saving architectural lighting enhances Granada’s magnificent Cathedral, creating a stunning nocturnal landmark

Perched on 3 hills at the foot of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada mountains, the city of Granada is renowned for its historical and cultural heritage. In addition to the world-famous Alhambra and the Albaicín quarter, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the city is home to the magnificent 16th-century Renaissance masterpiece, the Cathedral of Granada.

As part of its Sustainable and Integrated Development Strategy (EDUSI), Granada "from Tradition to Innovation", co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the City of Granada decided to replace the architectural lighting of the Cathedral of Granada with a more energy-efficient solution to enhance its heritage. A call for tenders was issued and the contract was awarded to Javier Górriz (DCI Lighting Design) and IMESAPI (installation).

C. Gran Vía de Colón
Granada
Spain

Замовник

Granada City Council | Javier Górriz (Lighting Designer) | IMESAPI

From the city’s point of view, we wanted to restore the value of the Cathedral at night for the enjoyment and admiration of neighbours, residents and tourists, and the previous installation was very difficult to maintain.

Alfonso Marín Molero (Técnico Municipal Granada)
Alfonso Marín Molero
Head of Installation Works - Granada City Council

Architectural lighting to enhance heritage and visitor experience

The city had several objectives for the new architectural lighting: 

  • enhance the heritage of the Cathedral to create a destination for locals and visitors after dark; 
  • reduce energy consumption with a more energy-efficient solution;
  • adapt the lighting levels to the different spaces and activities taking place;
  • improve the lighting in areas where it is required for technical or regulatory reasons;
  • increase visual comfort for visitors;
  • limit any light spill into surrounding areas.
     

Energy-saving architectural lighting preserves the environment

Just over 200 state-of-the-art LED floodlights were installed with careful attention to the cathedral’s façade.

A range of our high-performing LED floodlights - SCULPLINE, SCULPFLOOD, SCULPDOT, VALINTA SCOPE and NEOS LED - were chosen to ensure the perfect light distribution for the various architectural details while minimising energy consumption and light spill into the surrounding residences. 

A special focus was given to the comfort of passers-by. The floodlights were carefully placed to highlight the architecture and blend into the façade so that they can’t be seen and where necessary anti-glare accessories were used. 

Javier Gorriz - Lighting Designer - DCI Lighting Design
Javier Górriz
Lighting designer - DCI Lighting Design

The SCULPLINE, with asymmetric optics, bathes the facades with a uniform light to ensure that the pillars, tympanum and arches are enhanced at night while the SCULPDOT and VALINTA SCOPE provide accent lighting for more intricate details.

The floodlights are fitted with warm white LEDs, with the exception of the main façade and tower, which are fitted with tunable white LEDs to highlight the architectural details and dynamism of this historic monument. They provide a timeless lighting scenario that enhances the beauty of the stone walls and respects the majesty of this masterpiece.

All of the floodlights are controlled by a wireless control system using Bluetooth. The lighting levels can be easily adapted by the city to meet real needs and generate further savings.
 

Stunning night-time landmark for residents and visitors

The lighting design aims to give a different interpretation of the Cathedral, from the daytime. By playing with light and shadow, the architectural elements that might go unnoticed during the day are accentuated, transforming the Cathedral and its surroundings into a magical environment.

Javier Gorriz - Lighting Designer - DCI Lighting Design
Javier Górriz
Lighting designer - DCI Lighting Design

The Cathedral has been transformed into a stunning nocturnal landmark that entertains and engages the local community and visitors. The intricate details that were once hidden are now revealed, giving structure and depth to the façade.

We believe that this project will increase the curiosity and expectation of visitors to see the Cathedral at night, not only from the surrounding area, but also from the many tourist viewpoints in the city. We also believe that word-of-mouth will encourage more people to visit the city at night.

Alfonso Marín Molero (Técnico Municipal Granada)
Alfonso Marín Molero
Head of Installation Works - Granada City Council

A new unmissable destination after dark

The main objective of the new architectural lighting was to give the Cathedral and its surrounding spaces a new lease of life during the hours of darkness. The lighting has restored the Cathedral to an unmissable landmark in this popular tourist destination.

Each day, the new lighting begins with a scenario that gradually reveals the details of the main façade in the Plaza de las Pasiegas, with the aim of creating another tourist attraction in the city, thus stimulating tourism and economic activity in the area around the Cathedral.

Javier Gorriz - Lighting Designer - DCI Lighting Design
Javier Górriz
Lighting designer – DCI Lighting Design

It was a privilege to work on this project with all the partners and the City of Granada. 

Ultimately, we want people to view, admire and be enchanted by the cathedral at all times, including at night, which was not possible before. In addition, with the right lighting levels at the right time and the different lighting scenarios, we can expect savings of up to 80% or even more.

Alfonso Marín Molero (Técnico Municipal Granada)
Alfonso Marín Molero
Head of Installation Works - Granada City Council

Additional content