SELECTED WORK: Craiglinn Underpass, Cumbernauld, Scotland

“The design demonstrates a great way to take city spaces and turn them into 21st Century places as the colourful lighting transitions completely transform the atmosphere throughout the day. The LED lighting changes include orange hues for early sunset, pink hues for late sunset, purple hues for twilight, and blue hues for the duration of the night and the stunning environment is completed with starlight effects and a 'river' of light that is projected onto the ground.”

- Inhabitat

Bigg Design and Zero-Waste Design delivered an award-winning project for North Lanarkshire Council that saw the regeneration of an underpass in Cumbernauld with stunning lighting and mural designs.

Working with local school pupils and engaging with members of the community, we developed a design that transformed the experience of using the underpass (previously a dark, intimidating area subject to vandalism) into an inspiring, unique journey that feels bright, airy and welcoming.

Murals on the underpass walls celebrate scenes from the local area and include a mixture of people, parks, wildlife, and architecture, whilst the LED lighting slowly changes hue over the course of the night to symbolise the colourful lighting transitions from dusk until dawn. A large group of school pupils were involved in the creation of the mural, which has enabled them to have a sense of ownership of the space that they pass on their daily journey to school.

Energy efficiency was a key priority and through the use of innovative lighting, the whole underpass only consumes the equivalent of 6 typical domestic incandescent light bulbs. Carbon emissions were further reduced by specifying aluminium housings (a readily recycled and recyclable material); and using local manufacturers and suppliers.

Throughout the project, we worked with students from St Maurice’s High School and introduced them to a real-life design process. Starting with site research, mapping of the local area, interviews of local people, understanding user experiences and exploring practical improvements. Students were then introduced to a range of design and artistic inspiration, along with research into the cultural and historical highlights of the local area. This led to brainstorming, sketching, and prototyping of ideas with the use of physical model making and computer techniques. With feedback from members of the community, we refined a series of concepts down to a stunning final design that had great local ownership.

Bigg Design took responsibility for making the ambitious concept a reality and work included design and detailing of the bespoke lighting installation, and custom-made vandal-resistant housing, sourcing of manufacturers, materials and components, overseeing manufacture, mural design and ensuring successful site installation.

"This project was targeted at Senior School students of Art and of Graphic Design. Hamish [Bigg Design] and his colleague developed the project exactly as I would envisage a Senior School Curriculum for Excellence project going in the future. They linked aspects of Sociology, Human Behaviour Theory, Art, Science and Engineering in a meaningful way which took a project from the ideas stage to the drawing board and to its fruition materially present in the local community….They listened to the students' original ideas, led them with design advice to an understanding of the complexity of their project to create a bright, safe underpass which local people would want to walk through and, in the end, supported them to make this a reality.”

- Laurence Byrne, Head Teacher, St Maurice’s High School

The project won the North Lanarkshire Regeneration Award and we are delighted to see that 2 years after it’s completion it has remained graffiti free, unlike neighbouring underpasses in the area.

Light & CAD modelling

Developing the concept with local school pupils:

Underpass before work began - dark, uninviting and subject to frequent vandalism:


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