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National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland

Issue 68 Aug / Sep 2012 : Architecture : Stadium


The star in Poland’s team of stadiums for this summer’s Euros, the National Stadium in Warsaw shone with a dynamic media façade designed by Lichtvision.

The newly constructed National Stadium in Warsaw provided one of the more visually memorable settings for this summer’s Euro 2012 tournament. The 58,500-seat venue, designed by GMP Architects, was completed in November 2011, becoming the national team’s new home ground and providing the stage for the Euro 2012 opening game. Located in a parkland on the banks of the River Vistula, the stadium was built on a raised mount, giving it added prominence on the Warsaw skyline. It features a distinctive façade of angled mesh panels, coloured to represent the red and white of the national flag.

German-based Lichtvision Design & Engineering were asked to create a dynamic scheme for this façade, one that would not only underscore the two-coloured design, but also allow low-resolution imagery to scroll around the exterior.

They proposed the use of an adjustable LED luminaire with different optics and colours that could be adapted to suit the two geometries of the mesh panels and their respective red or white (actually metallic silver) surfaces.

The 6m x 2m panels run in rows around the stadium, supported by columns set twelve metres apart. On each row, two panels fill the space between every column, angled so that they weave in and out. Each is lit by a dimmable Liner Shield AC XB 36 from Traxon. These were mounted behind the support columns using custom designed brackets that could be adjusted to suit the panel angle. Four different variants of the fixture were used: white LED or red LED fixtures (to suit the colour of the panel) in either a very narrow beam or medium beam version (depending on the angle of the panel). After on site testing, it was decided 5000K white LED should be used and that the ‘red’ LED fixtures should actually comprise a mix of 1/3 red and 2/3 white LED sources within them.

There are eleven rows of panels, so each column holds 22 of the linear LED fixtures, plus a further Traxon Wall Washer Shield AC XB fixture to illuminate the inside of the hallow head of each column, which is cut diagonal like the nib of a quill pen. These are all linked in a series back to one of eight e:cue Butler DMX converters integrated in four control racks. Each rack (containing two Butler converters) operates a quarter of the stadium’s façade - eighteen columns in each quarter - and in turn feed back to a central control room where two e:cue Lighting Control Engines (one for backup) are housed.

Control software was preprogrammed by e:cue technicians at their Paderborn headquarters following discussions with Lichtvision. It allows a number of sequences to be activated from a panel in the control room.
Lichtvision’s brief comprised the interior of the stadium, including the illumination of the stands, playing field and the roof hub suspended above the centre of the pitch.
The top third of the stands were indir
ectly lit by Sill 2000W and 400W asymmetric metal halide fixtures to illuminate the perimeter of the roof. An exception is made for the four corners of the stadium where suspended walkways run out to the central lighting gantry. Here duties are split between two 1000W and 250W fixture pairings. The lower two thirds of the stands were illuminated from the gantry, which runs around the inner opening of the roof. A mix of Sill 400W and 1000W metal halide projectors are directed onto the seating areas.

2000W metal halide Sill Power Spot 03 and 04 high power projectors (respectively with and without hot re-strike emitter) are also located on the gantry to illuminate the pitch.

The central roof hub houses a retractable membrane that can unfold to cover the pitch area. A needle protruding above and below this nest helps to support four giant TV screens. Three rings of eight metal halide parabolic projectors are placed at different points along the needle to light each section: 70W for its lower tip, 150W for the central section and underside of the hub and 400W for the spire-like top section.
A series of cascade staircases run between the angled façade and the main body of the stadium. Here Lichtvision specified BEGA wall mounted, shielded floods to be set twelve metres apart, in line with the façade support columns.
The raised hill on which the stadium sits is ringed by steps linking the stadium entrances with the surrounding landscaped park. These are illuminated by LED lighting embedded within the handrails.
Two lighting columns types are used for the pathways around the stadium. More than 200 Schrèder Tubulus Maxi luminaires - 6 metre tall columns with mixed opaque and clear glass heads - were installed to provide general lighting.
Along the western perimeter of the stadium site, a line of eighteen metre tall columns have been used. Custom designed by Lichtvision, each is topped by a multiple projector head used to flood light wider expanses of the surrounding stadium plaza. Fluorescent tubes backlight the column heads to mimic the appearance of the Tubulus pathway columns.

National Stadium, Warsaw, Poland
Client: Narodowe Centrum Sportu
Architect: GMP Architects
Lighting Design: Lichtvision Design & Engineering

1584 x Traxon Liner Shield AC XB 36
72 x Traxon Wall Wash Shield AC XB 36 (column top)
2 x e:cue Lighting Control Engine
8 x e:cue Butler
2 x e:cue Connect Base 8
2 x e:cue Light Application Suite (LAS)
68 x Sill 2000W asymetric metal halide - indirect lighting upper stand
8 x Sill 1000W asymetric metal halide - indirect lighting upper stand (next to walkway access to central gantry)
68 x Sill 400W asymetric metal halide - indirect lighting upper stand
8 x Sill 250W asymetric metal halide - indirect lighting upper stand (next to walkway access to central gantry)
60 x Sill 1000W metal halide - direct lighting lower stand
60 x Sill 400W metal halide - direct lighting lower stand
86 x Sill 300W Halogen – emergency lighting
8 x Sill 70W parabolic projector - hub needle lower tip
8 x Sill 150W parabolic projector - hub & needle middle section
8 x Sill 400W parabolic projector -hub needle top spire
312 x Sill 2000W metal halide Sill Power Spot 03 pitch floods
148 x Sill 2000W metal halide Sill Power Spot 04 pitch floods
Exterior lighting:
72 x BEGA 6897 150W metal halide wall mounted flood - cascade staircase
201 x Schrèder Tubulus, Metal Halide 150W - pathway lighting columns
9 x custom 18m columns with 25 x Metal halide projector heads and 24 x Hadler fluorescent tubes
LED handrail lighting with Tridonic 8,700 TALEXX modules


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