The 2015 European Games will be held in Baku in June, gathering in the Azerbaijan capital city over 6,000 athletes from 50 countries to compete in 30 sports, including 16 Olympic disciplines. Named after the former president of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev Sports and Exhibition Complex is one of the four city cluster locations, along with Tofiq Bahramov Stadium, Freedom Square and Baku Sports Hall, chosen to house this edition of the games. Since its opening in 1990, the arena has hosted around 40 international competitions of different kinds of sports. After the 2006 renovation, it became Azerbaijan’s home of gymnastics, accommodating a number of major international rhythmic gymnastics tournaments. During the European games the arena will be used for all the judo, sambo and wrestling competitions.
The arena facilities had to be radically reorganized for the European Games and improved with the construction of a drawing hall, an athlete’s canteen, a media Centre, a commentary studio, a broadcasting centre and server rooms for processing the results of the competitions. The 7,500-seat auditorium has been completely refreshed, enlarged and provided with modern, comfortable seating.
During the reconstruction phase, a new crown-shaped outer cover has been developed in order to completely renovate the look of the Heydar Aliyev Complex, wrapping it up in a decorative, eye-catching sort of canopy sparkling with thousands of lights. Installed starting from September 2014, this huge crown is made up of a metal skeleton put together by diagonally mounted beams that form a recurring rhombus grid. GRIVEN lighting designers have been working on this project since the very beginning of the construction, in order to allow the installation of the chosen lighting fixtures before the arena outer cover should be finished. Custom metal brackets have been specifically engineered in order to fix to the metal structure of the arena over 1300 units of GRIVEN Graph-i-Cell in RGB colour configuration. After fastening these pixel lighting units to the metal structure of the arena, their bodies have been partially recessed with the help of fiberglass sheets meant to hide the fixing system, leaving only the luminous dome of the products to be seen. The rhombus intersections have been then covered with a thick-woven plastic mesh in order to convey a uniform, elegant appearance to the whole structure. In this way, at the conclusion of the works, the lighting fixtures not only were positioned according to the required lighting scheme, but were also ready for the relevant programming and testing. An on-site programming schedule has been featured by GRIVEN engineers, who went directly to Baku to make sure that everything should work perfectly for the upcoming European games. As a start up manager for this project, Alberto Fantoni of GRIVEN’s technical department, took personally care of this important phase, while Alessandro Pederzani, Lighting Designer at GRIVEN’s, was in charge of the illumination study.
The installation layout was decided according to the illuminations scheme developed by GRIVEN’s lighting designers: now each single pixel sparkles following a pre-defined pattern that makes the arena shine like a crown of moving diamonds in the night of Baku. The dynamic pixel effect is smooth, appealing and extraordinarily impressive. This newly shaped ambience has gained an exclusive and ultra modern outlook that will highlight the crown of Heydar Aliyev Sports and Exhibition Complex in a flawless, exciting manner during the European Games and beyond.
Featuring 6 high brightness and power LEDs, Graph-i-Cell RGB is a single pixel fixture that can be easily assembled with other units of its kind to screen low resolution video files and graphic patterns. Integrated with the existing architecture or stage back drop, Graph-i-Cell RGB can accept, via DMX interface, any graphic, video or still image coming from a DVI media server and the configuration system can then store and trigger the show to a striking visual effect. Available also in warm and cold white coloure temperature, Graph-i-Cell is fitted with a dome shaped 180° opaline diffuser to offer a sharp image rendition and an optimal peripheral visibility. The IP65 weather protection rating makes Graph-i-Cell RGB suitable for almost any application.
A full digital control over all functions was a vital requirement for this project, in order to seamlessly manage the complex lighting scheme of the whole arena through the usage of a dedicated software. Specific to design and programme the most creative lighting shows, this cutting-edge software is based on innovative and intuitive tools capable of creating both simple and more complex lighting and visual design, arranging lighting fixtures in a project plan, and configuring external devices in the control system, in addition to programming special lighting effects, video-to-light pixel mapping, visualization of the lighting installation, and special triggering and automation features.
The thousands of fans and followers of the upcoming European Games will be able to enjoy also another prestigious landmark of Baku lit up by GRIVEN in 2011: the Baku Flame Fountain. Standing imposingly in the middle of a large fountain pool, this triple helix flame shaped sculpture is the centrepiece of a public park built on Hedar Aliyev Avenue, the main highway leading into the city from the airport and located very close to the games’ city cluster. The illumination design of the Flame Fountain was fitted with over 1,500 banks of GRIVEN LED lights fixed directly onto the tower body, fully custom made independent pixel modular bars that could comply with all the required features of this project. The final result is an exciting automated show where the faultless interface of the flame tower lighting system with the sound and water control of the three water fountains allows the creation of amazingly synchronized choreographies and stunningly matching effects of water, light and music.
From June, 12 to 28 Baku 2015 1st European Games will be the highlight for millions of sport fans and the Heydar Aliyev Sports and Exhibition Complex will have its chance to be seen the world over with its crown of sparkling lights.
1300 x AL2076 Graph-i-Cell RGB
10 x AL2093 Start Line Box
63 x AL2094 Repower Box
76 x AL2079 IP65 Electronic driver
4 x AL2026 DMX Output interface
1 x AL2027 Lighting Application Software
1 x AL2023 Butler Garage