The lighting of the biggest roundabout in Croatia has won an award at the 35th International Lighting Design Awards in Chicago. The roundabout in Pula, designed by Dean Skira, picked up a special citation for Collaborating on an Iconic Civic Landmark at the International Association of Lighting Designers (ILAD) International Lighting Design Awards at Chicago’s Revel Fulton Market.

77 projects from 11 countries were on display at the awards, including interiors, workspaces, museums, historical sites and places of worship. The IALD Lighting Design Awards programme, established in 1983, honours lighting projects that display high aesthetic achievement backed by technical expertise. A panel of award-winning lighting designers, architects and interior designers reviews the projects over a three-day, anonymous review process.

The Pula roundabout covers 15 000 square metres and in addition to directing traffic, serves as an efficient rainwater drainage system to resolve the community’s flooding problem. The outer ring is based on an elegant, circular construction of 340 white poles that release water vapour from the drainage system.

The lighting design colours this vapour with light beams of numerous nuances and intensities, creating a unique sight. During the daytime, the white circular structure adds harmony to the chaos of the traffic pattern; at night, the vibrant lighting welcomes tourists and residents to town. A control system allows for variation in the lighting scenes and is connected with a meteorological station. This allows the lighting and fog effects to be adjusted with real-time wind strength and time of day.

“This lighting and sculpture installation radically transforms a utilitarian space into a dynamic landmark. Celebrating function is a feature of the work,” one judge said of the Pula roundabout lighting.