Federation Square in Melbourne, Victoria, is an arts, culture and public events venue located on the edge of the city’s central business district. It houses a number of different event spaces, including the popular Edge Theatre. As part of a A$20m investment into capital works projects by the Victorian Government, the square’s lighting was recently overhauled to enhance the visitor experience in the evenings.
Arup was appointed to lead on the design element of the major lighting upgrade, with bluebottle supplying and commissioning the lighting technology. Pharos Architectural Controls was specified to deliver solutions that addressed a number of key requirements of the scheme, including dynamic lighting capabilities and the power to programme this lighting using its versatile software.
The majority of the LEDs across the scheme are Color Kinetics, a Philips Signify solution. These have been seamlessly integrated with a Designer LPC 1 (Lighting Playback Controller 1) and a 50-universe Designer LPC X from Pharos, as well as Dynalite solutions for the venue’s functional interior lighting. The luminaires and the control systems work in harmony with bluebottle remote management service (BRMS). Together, they enable dynamic colour changing of the lighting across the main square façade and the atrium, as well as catenary lighting control.
The LPC 50 delivers control across all of the main external areas of Federation Square, while the LPC 1 supports local console bypass in the Edge Theatre.
Designer LPCs from Pharos Architectural Controls are built for 24/7 operation and total reliability, featuring individually controllable and independently running timelines and scenes that allow users to fully customise and pre-programme lighting effects with the freedom of real-time manual overrides, and the versatility of powerful show control and integration features.
The comprehensive management system provides the Federation Square events team with the ability to manage their own event scheduling, including ad hoc lighting control as and when required. Together, the integrated package of Pharos technologies, Dynalite solutions, and BRMS has proven to be a robust yet flexible platform.
The lighting control is delivered through Federation Square’s ICT network, with a dedicated VLAN. Pharos controllers are simultaneously outputting KiNet and Art-Net control protocols.
Tony Symms, Regional Sales Manager at Pharos Architectural Controls, said: “Federation Square is a popular venue and a prime outdoor location in Melbourne, which is highly deserving of the recent investment from the Victorian Government. The new lighting is very theatrical and the changing lighting mirrors the rotational nature of a theatre set, with something new and surprising at every turn. It is wonderful to know that Pharos has played such a crucial part in making this visionary project a reality.”
After 20 years in operation prior to the upgrade, the new lighting scheme has offered the opportunity to reimagine the lit environment of Federation Square. With a diverse programme of events, the introduction of a responsive and adaptable lighting scheme has allowed the lighting to be used to enhance these activities. It also supports wayfinding, while providing a more welcoming and inviting environment for visitors coming to the square during the darker hours.