Article Published by: WE-EF Australia / New Zealand online magazine
Do you remember the iconic Sprinter statue that was on top of Centrepoint Tower during the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games? If you’ve driven along the new M4 recently you may have noticed its new home near Sydney Olympic Park. It’s part of the M4 East Legacy project to increase open and public spaces for local communities.
The Sprinter sculpture was designed by artist Dominique Sutton and commissioned for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. The sculpture was part of a set of three located on top of Centre Point Tower. The other two sculptures were relocated to Canberra after the games, however the Sprinter found a temporary home in Sydney Olympic Park. At 16 metres in height and weighing in at 8.5 tonnes, the Sprinter presented a challenge to relocate and light, for project developers Westconnex in collaboration with electrical engineers ADP and WE-EF Sales Partner Light Culture Australia.
The challenge was to illuminate the sculpture in such a way that it didn’t detract from the artist’s original intent. Dominique Sutton was involved in the design process for illuminating the sculpture in its new home.
“Dominique stressed the importance of not turning it into a gimmick or advertising attraction,” said Noah Doughty, account manager at Light Culture Australia. “While she was trying to maintain her original intent with the piece, she was also reinventing it as well. She was careful about picking up the lines that she wanted exaggerated.”
The sculpture has an incredible amount of lines separate from its main form that give it depth and meaning. Therefore, lighting had to be used in such a way that the intricacies of the work were highlighted and not washed out. This was achieved by working with Ms Sutton using a small-scale model of the sculpture where she could indicate where lighting should be applied.
When lighting exterior projects, ADP most often use WE-EF luminaires and this project was no exception. The sculpture was lit using FLC200-CC projectors with flexible beam options and an infinite choice of colour schemes. The internal “body” of the sculpture was illuminated using specialised LED strip lighting from another supplier.
There was excitement in the project team to be working on project as unique as this one. “We don’t have these kinds of projects come along very often and they are usually done by lighting design firms,” Mr Doughty noted. In this case, the lighting design was conceived by WE-EF LIGHTING and engineers from ADP, with installation by PLAN Lighting.
Another challenge of the project was the limited mounting locations available due to the sculpture being positioned on top of a steep hill. The hill has minimal access for maintenance and the sculpture was mounted on a platform extending over the hill’s edge. “Getting light onto the front of the sculpture became a new challenge which was overcome by custom hinged poles from GM and precise narrow and medium beam optics available in the FLC200 series,” Mr Doughty said. “ADP and the pole designer worked closely to develop a pole that could bend, then could swivel as well, so it could hinge out over the ledge and rotate around to service that light.”
The flexible optics meant that minimal light was wasted by missing the sculpture, and the impressive features could be adequately illuminated. The end client wanted to be able to change the sculpture’s colour to suit any calendar event. By using RGBW projectors they can mix any colour and still produce a true white with the fourth white chip. “The RGBW multichip of the FLC200-CC series mixes colour before exiting the luminaire, creating a perfect and even blend of colours,” Mr Doughty added. The only thing that required tweaking was the kinds of colour schemes the client wanted to mark different occasions. “When I saw the lighting effect, I was amazed,” he said. “For a project that was considered almost impossible to do at times… it worked out well and everyone was really happy with the result.”
At 16 metres in height and weighing in at 8.5 tonnes, the Sprinter presented a challenge to relocate and light, for project developers Westconnex in collaboration with electrical engineers ADP and WE-EF Sales Partner Light Culture Australia.
The RGBW multichip of the FLC200-CC series mixes colour before exiting the luminaire, creating a perfect and even blend of colours.
Getting light onto the front of the sculpture became a new challenge which was overcome by custom hinged poles and precise narrow and medium beam optics available in the FLC200 series.