As one of Melbourne’s most prestigious and tallest structures, the 101 Collins Street high-rise building stands out against the city skyline. During the day, its permanent light fixtures blend seamlessly into its silhouette and architecture, making them invisible. In darkness, the building delivers an iconic light show offering secure interactivity with the public.
The client wanted to undertake a major lighting upgrade to the spire of the building 256 m (840 ft) above the ground. A collaboration began between designers ARUP, Brolec Electrical Contractors overseeing installation, and our partner, Bluebottle, engaging in the development and implementation of the project.
The project presented challenging critical requirements. The team needed to ensure the high-rise building lighting could withstand extreme exposure to the weather elements 260 m (853 ft) above ground level. Since 101 Collins Street is also a Communications Tower providing Melbourne’s critical communication services, custom-made stainless-steel bracketry had to be engineered and manufactured to avoid any interruptions by the lighting installation to RFI signals.
For this lighting display, ARUP’s designers drew inspiration from the grand, soaring interior of the 101 Collins Street lobby and its sophisticated metallic palette, and from Melbourne city life itself. Over a period of two months, a process of testing and developing the content of the light show in one-minute bursts took place during "4 am reconnaissance missions" by the designers, client, and partners to prevent the public from seeing the installation before the grand opening.
The LED solution that was chosen for this project includes: Color Kinetics ColorReach Compact Powercore, Color Kinetics iColor Accent Compact, Color Kinetics Vaya Tube, Color Kinetics ColorGraze MX Powercore, Interact Landmark Remote Monitoring, Interact Landmark Social Impact app, and Interact Light play app. With over 500 lighting fixtures spanning 600 m (1,968 ft) around the structure, top platforms and overhanging buttresses, this project was fast-tracked over a three-month period throughout the winter.
The result is amazing! When darkness falls, the building’s façade transitions to a perfect blank canvas for an iconic light show. An initial sunset display morphs into hourly dynamic shows, before the evening’s beautiful moonset at midnight, which slowly winds back to a subtle 'sleep' state until sunrise.
Bluebottle enabled the installation to be entirely remotely managed, with access to health monitoring with daily updates and reports, fast content creation and upload for special occasions, and an intuitive interface to allow the building managers to make time changes or simply control the building without ever having to go on site.
NECA Excellence Award 2019
Brolec Pty Ltd were awarded a prestigious NECA Excellence Award for the 101 Collins Lighting installation.