A Unique Mask to Celebrate Your Identity: Bespoke Innovation From Schréder

Jean Luc Lambert - Schréder Urban Deco Business Segment Manager
Jean-Luc Lambert
Urban Deco Business Segment Manager

For over a century, Schréder has been helping cities, towns and villages light their public spaces safely and beautifully. We have created lighting solutions that emphasise historic monuments and keep heritage intact for iconic locations across the globe, from the Champs Elysée in Paris to Shanghai’s Bund.

We have extensive experience in designing lanterns, columns, brackets and other structures to reflect cities’ highlights. These decades of engineering luminaires, historic and contemporary, with traditional craft and cutting-edge technology have given us the expertise to create unique “masks,” so towns and cities can bring a bespoke touch to a whole installation in an affordable way. When it comes to lighting, a mask reveals, not conceals, your identity.
A mask is a metal sheet with a unique cut-out design, created together with the customer. Inspiration for projects so far has included heritage, artisanship and a famous international festival. The mask can wrap around our existing luminaires, or be part of a whole new lantern design unique to your village, town, city or even your favourite sports club. It can be elevated further with a dichroic sheet: the possibilities are as endless as our customers’ vision.

Born in a Fairytale Kingdom

One option is to create a whole new lantern, which includes a mask, which is the road Najac went down. Recognised as one of the Plus Beaux Villages in France, this medieval bastide in the land of the Troubadours is a sanctuary of calm for its 750 residents and the many visitors it welcomes throughout the year. In 2011, the local authorities launched a regeneration project for the heart of the village, and invited consultants Wonderfulight to create a lighting design which reflects Najac’s heritage.  
Wonderfulight began a quest to find the perfect luminaire for this mythical setting, but after searching high and low, nothing could be found. So they approached Schréder SIGNATURE and we worked together to make a brand new luminaire for Najac, influenced by 17th-century lanterns. This new lantern was named NAJACOISE in honour of the village, and we created a mask perforated with patterns inspired by the region’s characteristic slate roofs and medieval chainmail.

Customised NAJACOISE creates a cosy nocturnal ambiance in Saint-Cirq-Lapopie

Saint-Cirq-Lapopie, in the Dordogne Valley, is another stunning village, which wanted to highlight its stunning medieval half-timbered houses: they reinvented the NAJACOISE with a whole new design. Decorated with diamond-shaped patterns that broaden out in the lower half, the luminaire creates light that gradually fades upwards, drawing peoples’ gaze up to the village’s charms. 

At Home on the Riviera 

Another approach is to customise the metalwork of one of our standard luminaires. This is what French Riviera favourite Mandelieu-la-Napoule did. The Mayor, Mr. Leroy, chose the classic BOREAL LED luminaire himself after it caught his eye during a visit to the Salon des Maires. He wanted a personal touch to really make the most of the lighting around the ramparts of the town’s 14th century medieval fortress, so we redesigned the mask with Mandelieu-la-Napoule’s coat of arm and added a dichroic sheet inside. The mask fulfilled the Mayor’s aim of creating a welcoming nocturnal ambiance - another way to make this jewel of the riviera sparkle.

A bespoke BOREAL LED enhances the heritage of Mandelieu, transforming its nocturnal identity

Meanwhile, further up the coast in Cannes, we created a design based around the silver palm for the Bocca district, also on the BOREAL LED lantern. You would never guess it was the same hardware underneath the mask in Mandelieu - here, a bold monochrome design, with stainless steel finish, creates a magical atmosphere. The new lighting has completely re-energised the district.

Schréder SIGNATURE created a bespoke luminaire for Cannes to highlight its unique identity and create a unique nocturnal landscape

Excellence Comes As Standard (and a word about photometry)

With masks, the sky is truly the limit. We can even add them to many of our best-selling standard luminaires, including the SHUFFLE, FLEXIA and YOA. Lavelanet, at the foot of the Pyrenees, chose this option when it commissioned lighting designer Lionel Bessières from Quartiers Lumières to create a work of public art that would encourage residents to walk and cycle more in the evenings.  

Lionel Bessières decided to work with the YOA. In collaboration with Schréder SIGNATURE, they created a mask with a pattern inspired by the carding tools used in the city’s woollen cloth trade. To further accentuate Lavelanet’s character, the mask has an “open” design to reveal the Pyrenees in the distance.

Bespoke luminaire creates unique nocturnal ambiance for Lavelanet

It’s worth noting that while masks are new, our dedication to photometry is not. So when we create a mask with you, we think carefully about where the light needs to go, whether that's drawing the eye to architectural features or ensuring a safe, clear road which meets local and national safety standards. We carefully examine all the factors, from the coverage of the mask - these lace-inspired ones in Lorient were particularly fine and delicate - to the position of the lantern inside and even additional lighting elsewhere on the post, if needed. Creating a mask is an affordable way of making something unique for your city, but we never compromise on getting the right light, in the right place, at the right time.

With masks, the possibilities are endless. They can be a part of a whole new design or fitted to a wide variety of our existing products, light spaces inside and out, and add a touch of flair to your lighting project, whatever the scale. Be proud of what makes your town unique - celebrate your character by creating a mask!

About the writer

Since he joined the company as a mechanical engineer in 1988, Jean-Luc has developed a wide range of urban lighting luminaires, always striving to improve design and efficiency. 
He has travelled the world, bringing a hands-on mentality to deliver the perfect solution for customers worldwide. There’s not a lot he doesn’t know about lighting! 

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