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STADIUM FAÇADES / BC PLACE, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA


Photograph: BC Place


and outside this stadium would be like no other. People in neighbouring buildings and passersby can see through the building façade straight to the HD scoreboard. Home to a Canadian Football League team, the BC Lions, and a Major League Soccer (MLS) team, Vancouver Whitecaps FC, BC Place needed to feel unique for each team. The lighting design wanted to completely transform the building based on which team was playing. The lighting design focused on three key areas: the façade, the roof, and the support structure. Using colour and sequenced lighting shows the design is able to create identifiable signature scenes for each user group. The façade is made of over 1700 1.5m wide x 2m tall ETFE panels stacked four rows high. Between each row is a structure steel wind girt. ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) is a resilient plastic material (previously employed on the Water Cube in Beijing). This plastic will accept printed patterns to allow for different diffusion and transmission factors. From a lighting standpoint, it catches light beautifully, creating an ethereal scrim. Through mock-ups, the design team was able to determine the ideal beam spread and output required to best light the façade. A particular challenge was the late summer dusk in Vancouver, with sunset occurring after 9pm, sometimes two hours after the start of the game. As a result a higher output LED than originally planned was utilised. Lumenpulse Lumenfacade was selected for all the façade lighting.


“We wanted to allow more natural light into the stadium during the day, but we also wanted to get a rendering effect on the façade as early as possible in the evening,” explains David Ghatan, Senior Associate at C.M. Kling. “That meant that we had to compete with the low, setting sun and the field-of-play lighting.” RGB LED graze fixtures four feet long with 30 x 60 optics were positioned 10cm from the back of the ETFE to light each panel. Each fixture has 12 DMX channels with control of each 1’ of LEDs. This totaled over 6,800 LF of LED and over 20,000 DMX channels for the façade alone. The roof lighting was intended to compliment the façade. Covering 38,000 square metres, the roof posed a challenge to achieve even illumination. The only available mounting positions were the perimeter ring at the base of the roof and the masts. Any lighting mounted to the masts required access for service. This would require a ladder to be incorporated into the steel during construction. As a result, the design team wanted to keep the mast mounted lighting to a minimum and as low in elevation as possible. Additionally, wind and weather were a major concern for the sustainability of the fixtures and their ability to remain in focus. The top of the mast is over 75m from the pedestrian sidewalk below. Through computer analysis and experiments with a fixture sample, a mounting point 18m above the roof line was selected. Given the practical limitations of lighting such a large area, C.M. Kling decided to


Photograph: Ed White


Lights are programmed to go off at 11pm unless there is an event still ongoing. On nights when there is no event, only the cable lights and low wattage uplights on the masts are illuminated.


approach the roof as a series of concentric rings of light, splitting the design into thirds. The first elevation of the roof, the most visible from the pedestrian plaza and the surrounding street level is most brightly illuminated, with fixtures 3m on centre around the whole roof. The next two thirds are each illuminated from the masts. Through a variation in optics and output fixtures from the Lumenpulse Lumenbeam family, fixtures are mounted four per mast, and are aimed to light each of the 36 roof


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