Along with Howard Brandston, Gabriel Mackinnon was honoured to have developed a complete lighting design for Canada’s most important symbolic monument. Project requirements included increasing the safety, visual experience and night quality of Parliament Hill.
The design strategy was to cause buildings and courtyards be perceived as a coherent whole. A complex hierarchy of lighting effects is used, including hidden floodlighting in historical globe fixtures, path lighting, and lights tucked onto adjacent rooftops.
Emphasis is on entrances to improve navigability and wayfinding, with key and fill spotlights on facades and towers. Detail lights are easily maintained from inside. Stained glass, tower-tops and windows are internally lit, adding life to the buildings.
The Peace Tower is carefully accented, with a glowing clock and the flag. Energy efficiency is applied through an easily managed control system and maintenance program.
Parliament Hill, lit as a monument at night, allows appreciation of its beauty on a human scale and gives a feeling of pride to all Canadians.
Work was ongoing to 2013 with the addition of new fixtures to enhance security at the parliament gates.