i-Vision illuminates Paddington Basin

Architectural lighting specialists I-vision supplied Tim Matthews of Fentura Production Services with Studio Due City Colors and assorted other lighting fixtures to highlight three buildings in the new Paddington Basin development – which is largely still under construction.

Matthews managed the four week project for event production company Light-Bitz. He also created the eye-catching lighting scheme for the buildings – The Point, and the new Marks & Spencer HQ, Waterside 1 and 2. The Point is scheduled to be handed over to mobile phone company Orange at the end of the month, and Waterside was finished by the end of 2002. The sites are being developed by construction companies Bovis and Carillion.

The aim of the lighting project was to raise the profile of the buildings and supply some eye-candy to attract the attention of passing motorists, crawling their way into and out of London on the A40 in evening rush hour. Shows ran from 3 p.m. to midnight each day.

Matthews utilised the 20 City Colors, plus 12 waterproof PARS, also supplied by I-vision. “I needed a fixture with sufficient coverage and good colour-mixing facilities, so the City Color was ideal.” he said, adding that he’s also used them on several previous occasions, so knows they are robust enough to withstand the very irascible January weather conditions!

The City Colors were used to wash the buildings with vivid slices of colour, while the PARs highlighted the central lift shafts of The Waterside, running intensity chases simulating lifts moving up and down. These luminaires were powered by ETC’s new SmartPack Dimmers – possibly the first in the UK – supplied to Fentura by TMB.

Control was a Compulite Sparktop console, running in ‘Scheduler’ mode; this allowed various on and off times to be programmed, and different shows to be selected according to the time of day and light conditions. The main lighting control was located on the seventh floor of Waterside 2. An additional local 63 amp three phase supply was laid on in all buildings by the site’s electrical contractors.

The biggest technical challenge was a very short installation timescale. The project received the green light on a Friday afternoon, and the full system was up and running by the Tuesday night. With largest practical challenge was keeping all the equipment out of the way of several hundred construction workers and tonnes of machinery in frenetic and perpetual activity!

Matthews worked alongside his production technician Colin Monk and Paul Pinto, project manager for Light Bitz.

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