Sky roof comes to life in Lyon
Every December, over 4 million tourists pour into Lyon, France, to view the famous Fête des lumières, the city's annual festival of lights. Confluence, a newly developed area of Lyon, recently gained the addition of a massive commercial center, the pôle de loisirs et de commerces de Lyon Confluence, which comprises a shopping mall, hotel, and cinema complex. Staying true to the spirit of Lyon, the center unveiled its new lighting design in time for the 2011 Fête des lumières—a massive, dynamic LED-lit glass roof spanning 24,000 sq m (258,300 sq ft).
The purpose of the lighting project was to realize architect Jean-Paul Viguier's vision of a "sky roof" using light. The particular location of the center, at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, served as the main inspiration for the lighting design, the goal of which was to create the perception of light flowing across the cushioned glass roof like water. High-profile client Unibail-Rodamco, the largest investor of commercial centers in Europe, left no room for error in the choice of lighting products for the project.
The lighting designers chose to use LED lighting for the project, as the ability to digitally control the lights on such a massive installation was crucial. "We decided to use a Color Kinetics system on the basis of superior quality and control, as well as on the grounds of reliability. For a project of such significance, we cannot take any risk," Alexis Coussement, principal lighting designer on the project, explains.
The roof, which supports glass cushions that arc across its surface like clouds or waves, served as the canvas for the lighting design. Horizontal sections of the roof where glass cushions arc back down are lined with Color Kinetics ColorBlast Powercore LED wash lights that fill each section with a base of color. In addition, 305 mm (1 ft) ColorGraze Powercore LED luminaires lining the perimeter of each glass cushion saturate it with rich color. One Light System Manager controller controls the entire LED lighting system.
Bénédicte Boudou, lighting engineer at Citéos, comments, "In terms of products, Philips Color Kinetics is really specialized in a wide range of optics."
In all, the massive installation uses 1482 ColorGraze Powercore luminaires, 247 ColorBlast Powercore luminaires, 65 Data Enabler Pro devices, and one Light System Manager controller. The entire installation, connected via an Ethernet network or wi-fi, can be controlled from an iPhone or iPad.
"This was an exciting project due to its magnitude, time, and energy," Coussement says. Upon its completion in December 2011, the new center became an instant attraction that can be viewed from miles away.