Case study: Overture Center for the Arts

Jan. 7, 2005
Color, light and architecture converge at Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, where a central multi-story rotunda glows by day and by night.
The octagonal glass dome of the arts center draws daylight into the majestic space, while another form of light takes over after dusk - intelligent solid-state illumination from Color Kinetics.

Designed by Cline Bettridge Bernstein, the lighting concept called for four tiers of cove lighting to encircle the rotunda’s balconies, forming concentric rings of illumination.

The desire for programmable color and color-changing effects, coupled with the difficult-to-access location, led the design team to choose iColor Cove®, which allows for customizable color without the maintenance requirements of conventional lighting methods.

In addition, its controllability allowed for the desired interaction of color with the plaster form of the rotunda’s walls.

The lighting was programmed with a DMX system that triggers an interface to iPlayer® 2, which stores and plays a two-hour program that shifts through various effects in a loop.

The program includes color crossfades on all tiers simultaneously, and riser effects where the colors change one tier at a time. Additional effects were programmed for special occasions and seasonal events.

This crowd-pleasing light show provides the perfect complement to the Center’s forum for artistic expression.

Lighting Design: Cline Bettridge Bernstein
Architects: Cesar Pelli Associates, Potter Lawson & Flad Architects
Photo Credit: Zane Williams