Gulf Coast Town Center’s new owner set aggressive goals for its transformation. It would breathe new life into the aging outdoor shopping center, diversifying from the existing 100 commercial stores to include a combination of retail, lifestyle, medical and office space. Landscape architects facilitated the exterior makeover, seeking a family-friendly focus with modern and provocative touches.
The outdoor pedestrian experience of the Fort Myers shopping center has truly been transformed, welcomed by the center’s businesses as well as the local community. Grey-tiled walkways, new palm trees, and lush, high-end artificial turf are just some of the central courtyard's new features. A children's play zone at one end has doubled in size, with modern amenities and shade coverings that replicate sails. Seating is plentiful and varied for ultimate comfort.
With public shopping hours extending well into the evening, lighting was an integral part of the exterior design. Luminis’ Lumiquad LQ641 columns were selected to line the pathways between the stores and the courtyard. Crisp, geometric lines give the LQ641 an edgy look that complements the revamped public space. Each 6” x 6” square column provides 360° of even light around the fixture, effectively illuminating and accenting the pedestrian areas.
Perhaps the most significant feature of the shopping center’s makeover was the construction of the center roundabout. An additional traffic lane allows for the safe drop-off and pick-up of shoppers. The central island itself is a landscaping treat: a whimsical combination of colorful sculptures, with swings, slides, and a misting system, draws guests into the complex. A ground pattern in grass and stone squares, and a variety of seating options, contribute to the park-like feel.
Additional Lumiquad LQ641 columns were selected for this unique space, ensuring shoppers can safely traverse the roundabout as they move to and from the center. Guests are equally comfortable and secure if they choose to linger on the swings or benches in the evening hours.
Lumiquad LQ627 bollards provide accent lighting in the roundabout gardens adjacent to the pathways. With the same 6” footprint as the LQ641, landscape architects were able to mix and match the two luminaires to create a consistent design aesthetic. The square shape of the columns and bollards is a natural complement to the checkerboard ground pattern and nearby geometric sculptures. And the fixtures’ white finish blends into the environment without competing with the surrounding color accents.
One of the unique characteristics of both the LQ641 and LQ621 is its open core. While the LED provides even illumination to the surrounding pedestrian areas, the exterior frame itself creates shadows that cast a distinctive pattern of light on to the ground immediately around the fixture. This adds another creative detail to the park design.
Optics in all Lumiquad luminaires produce zero uplight, ensuring they are dark sky friendly and comply with local requirements.
The robust and durable Lumiquad will be trouble-free for the center's maintenance team as it withstands the demanding Florida sunshine and storms. Its aluminum construction features integrated struts that act as a reinforcing cage. Fixtures are IP65 rated, with a lifetime of 60,000 hours.
Gulf Coast Town Center, with its stunning upgrades in landscaping and illumination, will offer the Fort Myers community a dynamic environment to shop, dine and relax, for years to come.
PROJECT NAME: Gulf Coast Town Center
LOCATION: Fort Myers, Florida, USA
CATEGORY: Exterior Lighting
PROJECT COMPLETION: May 2019
PHOTOGRAPHY: Chad Baumer