Church of Our Lady of Laeken

A striking and important historic place of worship gets a new lighting design featuring Lumenpulse luminaires.

When entering or exiting Brussels from the north, one can't help but witness the splendour of the cathedral sized Church of Our Lady of Laeken. Starting in 1854 with construction being completed in 1909, this undisputed icon of the city is close to the royal residence of the Royal Castle of Laeken and houses a crypt that holds entombs the Belgian Royal Family and all its former kings. The square and the church are important historical and civic sites popular today.

The neo-Gothic church has three main decorative elements in its construction: the ornate and storied front with its vestibule and towers; its elaborate, windowed sides; and the equally embellished rear chapel. Each of these areas comprises architectural elements and styles from various periods and different styles, in addition to representative Gothic elements, such as pointed arches, throughout.

Fiorenzo Namèche with his team of LIGHT-TO-LIGHT, began lighting concepts for the church in 2011. The clients wanted a lighting concept that would accentuate and reveal the multitude of historic architectural elements while keeping any installation disturbances to the heritage structure to a minimum. The overall concept was to play with white and amber light on columns and behind them respectfully and harmonically, to create an intricate shadow play among the architecture's reliefs through depth of field and contrast, and to elevate the entire structure's presence within the nightscape of Brussels. LIGHT-TO-LIGHT's skilful concept uses "golden" light for the cavities and passages behind the columns while laying white light over the architectural elements in the foreground.

"The Lumenpulse Lumenfacade and Lumenbeam fixtures were chosen for their versatility, "said Fiorenzo Namèche, Principal Lighting Designer at LIGHT-TO-LIGHT." Lumenpulse supplies a range of luminaires that have been designed by people with significant expertise in lighting design, which results in products that meet the demand required by large architectural lighting projects. We were drawn to their products by their range of photometric possibilities, the optical distributions, device dimensions, colour temperatures, the quality of light, ease of installation, and colour consistency." Fiorenzo adds, "The incredible toolkit that Lumenpulse products offer made them an easy pick for us. Versatile details like the shorter mounting yokes, the ability to acquire SPL options that suit our specific project, and the possibility of having remote drivers due to fixtures being mounted in inaccessible places. This allowed us to use remote drivers, such as on the largest towers and makes it easy for possible replacement or life maintenance."

The front vestibule and towers form a three-tiered majestic crown. The first crown is lit from the ground, emphasizing the inking of the forecourt. Especially from a distance, the upper crown, formed by the towers, cuts through the air and seems to stand out from the building itself. The lightness of the towers is reinforced by an ingenious interplay of pillars and cavities. With LIGHT-TO-LIGHT's use of uplighting, the massive front is majestic, its dimensions are highlighted and striking, yet the lighting concept becomes more subtle and intricate as you progress along the building.

A similar shadow play is present along the sides of the structure, but it is purposefully less pronounced than the front. The softening of each crevice's shadow and highlighted pillar allows the structure's full three dimensions to be realized. The roof of the rear chapel and its pinnacles seem to form jewels on the crown above the crypts of the kings. A true masterpiece of architectural lighting, the Church of Our Lady of Laeken's iconic stature has been elevated to the mythological thanks to the LIGHT-TO-LIGHT concept.  


14 x Lumenfacade (3', 4', 3000K, 30º x 60º)
54 x Lumenfacade Remote (1', 2', 3', 3000K, 8º x 8º)
26 x Lumenfacade Horizontal (2', 3000K, 10º x 60º)
4 x Lumenfacade Horizontal (3', 3000K, 60º x 60º)
3 x Lumenfacade Horizontal (2', 3000K, 30º x 60º)
8 x Lumenfacade Horizontal (1', 3', 3000K, Asymmetric Wallwash)
8 x Lumenbeam Medium (3000K, Narrow Spot 10º)
9 x Lumenbeam Large (2200K, Flood 40º)
8 x Lumenbeam Grande (2200K, Very Narrow 6º)
4 x Lumenbeam XLarge (2200K, Narrow Spot 6º, Flood 40º)
1x Lumenbeam Xlarge (3000K, Extra Narrow Spot 4°)

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Location: Brussels, Belgium
Market: Arts + Culture
Photographer: Marc Detiffe
Client: Beliris - Brussels Mobility
Lighting Design: Fiorenzo Namèche, LIGHT-TO-LIGHT
Installation: VSE (Eiffage Energie)

Lumenpulse supplies a range of luminaires that have been designed by people with significant expertise in lighting design, which results in products that meet the demand required by large architectural lighting projects.

Fiorenzo Namèche
Principal Lighting Designer