Stockholm Arlanda Airport is the larger of two airports in Sweden’s capital city. Located in the province of Uppland, the airport is a key gateway for international air travel with millions of people travelling through the hub each year.
Set away from the hustle and bustle of the main airport terminals is Arlanda VIP Services. This dedicated area of terminal 5 offers a luxurious retreat for travelling royalty, dignitaries, world-leaders and celebrities. As part of a refurbishment project and the addition of new amenities, lighting designer James Poore, JPLD, was approached by Swiss-based travel retailer Dufry, to design and implement a lighting scheme for the new walk-through duty-free store based in the VIP area.
As well as functional lighting for the retail space, part of the brief was to create a strong sense of place. The aurora borealis and the number of tourists it brings to Scandinavia was the perfect inspiration for this. The result is a stunning sea of colours that sweeps the ceiling of the store, creating an inviting atmosphere that invokes one of the area’s most popular spectacles.
This gigantic lighting installation consists of a series of undulating 4m high chainmail curtains, snaking through the entire 65m length of the shop. The lighting has been set to run as a ‘show’ with the overall programme designed to be 11 minutes long, with an 11 second pause at the end before the show recommences. This represents the solar cycle that runs for 11 years and affects the Northern Lights. James Poore’s design imitates the aurora borealis, being as accurate as possible to the shift and speed of the phenomenon, including randomised lighting effects to keep it feeling organic.
To deliver this ambitious and visually spectacular lighting effect, James Poore enlisted the help of lighting control experts Pharos. With the recognition that it would be a complex project to control and program, Pharos offered the unrivalled technology, expertise and collaborative approach to ensure success. The system also needed to be reliable, robust and workable within the space and constraints of both the airport environment and the budget.
Pharos is able to deliver all the essential components of the installation, including; controlling each of the large number of luminaires individually, setting a repeating timeline with randomised effects, using multichannel colour change ability across the RGBW fixtures, and using a high number of DMX addresses and universes.
Pharos specified two LPCs (Lighting Playback Controller) and a TPC (Touch Panel Controller). The LPC is an award-winning, all-in-one control solution ideal for themed entertainment installations. The TPC is an elegant, touch screen lighting controller with a customisable 4.3” capacitive touch panel. By bringing these solutions together, Pharos ensured the flexibility to control the project without the need for a permanent or bulky lighting desk, as well as giving staff easy manual control via the TPC. The system is completed with a Pulsar 642 Chroma AR111.