Pier Approach

Striking light columns create immersive nocturnal experience for visitors to enjoy and stay longer

With its gold sand beach with stunning views across the bay of the Isle of Wight on one side and the Purbeck hills on the other, Bournemouth Pier is a popular holiday destination, attracting over 5 million tourists every year. 

In 2017 Bournemouth Borough Council launched a 20-year strategy to develop a world-class seafront to improve facilities for residents and to grow its tourism industry. 
Pier Approach, the area connecting the Lower Gardens to the sea, was one of the first sites to benefit from this public realm regeneration project due to the high number of people passing through. The council wanted a welcoming and engaging public space that would encourage people to make more use of the facilities and spend more time there. 

The space was redeveloped to form a piazza with a new interactive water play area, a leaf shaped shelter and visitor information kiosk as well as benches to sit and watch the world go by. 

Energy-efficient lighting to celebrate heritage 

Michael Grubb Studio was commissioned to deliver a colourful and innovative low energy lighting scheme that would encourage locals and visitors to remain at the Pier late into the evening. They drew up a lighting design inspired by one of the town’s oldest traditions, the annual candlelight nights in the month of August. 

Collaborative working, integrating all disciplines 

As with all regeneration projects, partnerships are critical. Our teams at Schréder SIGNATURE worked in collaboration with the lighting design agency and contractors to deliver a solution that harmoniously integrates the space and meets the customer’s expectations. 

We supplied and installed 14 seven metre high and 2 twenty-five metre high timber columns that integrate the LED floodlights and multi-gobo projectors. Custom features such as the LED rims on the 25m columns and acrylic finials, as well as internal power supplies and DMX control systems, were developed specifically to meet the customer’s requirements.

An immersive nocturnal experience  

At night, the space is bathed in colourful light with changing colours and patterns projected onto the ground for an immersive nocturnal experience. Different scenarios can be programmed to celebrate and marks events. 

The new public realm has given Pier Approach a new lease of life as it is now one of the town’s top attractions for the local community and visitors. 

United Kingdom


Bournemouth Borough Council


Design and architects: Michael Grubb Studios
Contractor: Willmott Dixon
Subcontractor: Lowe and Oliver