KSLD unveils LED lighting skin for Qatar tower

Kevan Shaw Lighting Design plans to use a skin of addressable LED elements to light the Sport City Tower in Qatar.

Content Dam Leds En Articles 2006 07 Ksld Unveils Led Lighting Skin For Qatar Tower Leftcolumn Article Thumbnailimage File
LED elements and searchlights
The Sports City Tower, a 1000 ft (300 m) structure being built in the Gulf state of Qatar, will be covered in a state-of-the-art lighting skin composed of around 4000 individually addressable LED elements.

Kevan Shaw Lighting Design (KSLD) is responsible for the lighting scheme of the tower, one of the most prominent projects currently under construction in the Middle East. The Edinburgh, Scotland-based design firm was awarded the project in November 2005 following an international competition in June 2005.

The tower is an iconic building in the Sports City Complex that will support the Olympic flame for the Asian Games this November. Construction started in September 2005 on a very fast track program and the lighting design will be achieved through close integration with the building construction.

The concept is to provide an icon for the Sports City complex with lighting that can adopt the character of specific events, starting with the Asian Games. The principal element is a state-of-the-art lighting skin composed of individually addressable LED units. A combined lighting and media controller allows an infinite variety of colors, patterns and simple graphics to be played across the skin.

Olympic flame and illuminated core
Design director Kevan Shaw told LEDs Magazine that there are about 4000 addressable LED elements with 3 color circuits each. The RGB units are custom made by Solar and contain six 1-watt LEDs from Lumileds, 2 each of red, green and blue. "The units have custom optics to provide a predominant distribution below the horizontal," said Shaw.

For added variety the structural core of the tower will also be illuminated by color-change fittings that create a distinctly different architectural representation of the tower. Shaw says that the choice of light source for the structural core is still being decided, and depends largely on cost. "We are looking at 3 options, two of which are LED fixtures from Color Kinetics or Solar, the third is Martin Architectural using a metal halide solution."

The crown of the tower is illuminated to express its structure. After the record-breaking Olympic flame (it will be the highest above ground) is extinguished, further lighting elements will be introduced to create a simulated flame using theatrical lighting and a misting system. There will also be a pattern of 9 searchlights extending the form of the building into the night sky, each with controllable shutters to provide fading and dynamic effects.

In the long term, the building will host a hotel, sports museum, presidential apartment, and will have revolving restaurant and have a viewing gallery with a bar at the top.

KSLD have responded to the fast track construction process by developing relationships with key members of the construction team. The company says that it has also used its established contacts in the lighting world to ensure that programmed deliveries of materials and equipment will be met and that the installation process is planned to achieve the necessary tight schedule.

As this tower forms the highest point on land in the state of Qatar the visibility of the project is guaranteed over a wide area. KSLD is very excited by the project and the design team are eagerly anticipating the setting up and switch on in October 2006.

More in Retail & Hospitality