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Grand Mosque lighting wins two more awards

23 November 2009 10.30 GMT

(UAE) - Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque (also known as the Grand Mosque) has been awarded two more awards for its lighting design.

US trade body ESTA named ETC and Martin Professional winners of the prestigious Rock Our World Awards which recognise outstanding, innovative achievements by ESTA members. Only a few weeks earlier, the Germany-based Professional Lighting Designers’ Association presented the Grand Mosque with a Recognition Award for Best New Project. Other awards bestowed on the Grand Mosque in the past have included the IALD Award of Merit, IES Award of Excellence and two Middle East Lighting Design Awards for Project of the Year and Best Public Building Lighting Project.

With lighting designed by Speirs and Major Associates (SaMA), over 1,200 fixtures – including ETC Source Four luminaires – are controlled by 21 ETC Congo Light Servers and 15 ETC Unison processors supplied by Oasis Enterprises. Seventeen custom-built equipment racks and 52 customised dimming racks contain almost 2,300 circuits – Relays, SCR- and ETC Matrix Mk II SineWave dimming – that are controlled via 276 ETCNet3 DMX/RDM Gateways.

ETC Controls Product Manager Sarah Clausen, who was also the lead programmer of the Congo systems on site, says: “The Grand Mosque project spanned seven years of work across multiple departments and international offices within ETC and in cooperation with Martin Professional, with whom we are honoured to share the Rock Our World Award, to achieve the design ideal of Speirs and Major Associates. The end result is a magnificent but subtle effect that stretches the boundaries and technologies of lighting design and is wholly deserving of these awards.”

A five-member panel of judges named the recipients of the ESTA awards at their annual dinner, on Thursday, on the eve of the LDI tradeshow. The awards were created to acknowledge the genius of the designer who applies lighting technology in a real world environment.

The Professional Lighting Designers’ Association award, which was presented at the conclusion of the Professional Lighting Design Convention in Berlin, recognizes those who have contributed most to the advancement of the field of architectural lighting design. The judges said: “This project incorporates supreme lighting insight and skills. While it respects the building's inherent cultural and religious aspects, it can be celebrated as the best of its kind in aesthetic, meaningful and spiritually overwhelming architectural lighting.”

The lighting for the Grand Mosque has been designed to mimic the phases of the moon, so at a full moon, the building is white, and for the new moon it is blue; every day there is a change. In addition to the color change sequence, ‘clouds’ glide across the building as though they were moving from west to east, clearing from Mecca. This was achieved using a series of building-mounted and totem-mounted rigs 65 feet off the face of the building, from which light is projected.


Grand Mosque (c) Harmer PR
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