(Brussels, Belgium) — As part of the 2015 UNESCO International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015), a cornucopia of educational events and installations are taking place around the world in a bid to raise global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development in energy, education, agriculture and health. ‘Discover the Power of Light’ – a co-production with B-Phot, the photonics research group of the Vrije Universiteit of Brussels (VUB) – is one such event currently taking place in Brussels, Belgium with the aim of educating and entertaining international crowds of all ages.
Tasked with illuminating the experiential installation, Belgian install specialists Soundfield selected 12 CHAUVET Professional Rogue R2 Washes to enrich the visual experience of the exhibition, involving an immersive 270° projection installation with video created by motion designer Willem Mertens. The selection of the Rogues was made after a long and detailed evaluation.
“Although we knew that LED fixtures were the most appropriate choice for this application, we had to decide which particular product was best for the setting,” said Jo Van den Wijngaerde, Manager of Soundfield Productions. “After our evaluation, we concluded that the Rogue R2 LED wash would provide sufficient warmth and colour spread within the space of the exhibit.”
Matching the fixtures to the spatial features of the building was of particular importance at Atomium, given the unique design of the magnificent five storey structure, which is poised a only stone’s throw from the National Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Designed by André Waterkeyn for the 1958 Brussels World Fair, the Atomium represents an iron crystal enlarged 165 billion times, making it symbolic of the Zeitgeist of the era in which it was birthed, a time when the atom projected an image of inexhaustible energy and modernity.
As ‘Discover the Power of Light’ focuses upon the importance of light for future sustainability, the juxtaposition between the anachronistic structure and forward looking goals of the installation couldn’t be any more pertinent. Nevertheless, the building’s unique features created challenges from a lighting design perspective. Due to the high lumen output of the myriad of projectors casting video content onto the 270° cyclorama, it was essential that Soundfield’s choice of lighting would play a complementary and not overshadowing role.
The 12 Rogues used to illuminate the exhibit were placed on a circular piece of truss suspended from the ceiling in the centre of the exhibition room. Working in harmony with the molecular structure to achieve an all-encompassing effect, each Rogue was then placed in line with the major construction beams of the molecular ball. “Thanks to the warm RGBW colours of the LEDs, we were able to accentuate the inner side of the sphere by spreading the tones smoothly over the structure,” said Van den Wijngaerde.
Contributing to the eco-conscious theme underlying the exhibition, the Soundfield team was able to incorporate the warm looks of the Rogue R2 Washes to magnificent effect. “One of the effects which we used the Rogues for was to illuminate the ceiling like a flower,” said Van den Wijngaerde. “We programmed the fixtures to ‘open’ and ‘close’ in sequence by lighting the construction beams from the top down to the bottom, giving the effect of a flower opening and closing. The main thing about the Rogues is that they really add that extra bit of atmosphere to the whole experience, while not detracting from the main focus of the video.”
With almost 400,000 people expecting to have made the pilgrimage to the exhibition by the time its doors close to the public on October 18, Soundfield’s technical contribution to the event ensures a truly immersive experience for the visitors. Not only do the CHAUVET Professional Rogue R2 Washes play an important part in creating this experience, they also successfully uphold and support the goals of the International Year of Light in 2015 by demonstrating the power of energy efficient LED fixtures to transform any space, even one as unique as Atomium.