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STADIUM FAÇADES / SUPERDOME, NEW ORLEANS, USA 099


DOMESTIC BLISS


To mark its renaming as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans’ biggest sporting landmark has been given a spectacular 360º-makeover.


When Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans in 2005, the Louisiana Superdome, as it was then called, became both a last resort refuge and a symbol of the city’s chaotic survival. With its domed roof stripped of cladding by the winds, the crowded stadium became a focus for global news crews at a point when the city was at its lowest ebb. Six years later and following a substantial refurbishment project, things could not be more different. On October 20th, in the presence of over 4,000 spectators, the stadium was reborn with a new name - the Mercedes-Benz Superdome – and a dynamic LED exterior lighting scheme, reclaiming the landmark as a beacon of civic pride. To mark the launch, the Superdome gave a full demonstration of its new dynamic illumination set to a soundtrack scripted especially for the event. The system was designed by the Solomon Group, a multimedia production firm based out of New Orleans. The project used 288 Martin Professional Exterior 410 fixtures - a bright yet compact luminaire that uses pre-mixed LEDs and RGBW colour mixing - capable of reproducing any colour imaginable on the 96 concave aluminum panels that ring the building’s exterior.


The four quadrants of the Superdome’s exterior also feature Martin Professional Exterior 1200 Image Projectors, powerful 1200 watt luminaires designed to project animated images and effects. The entire lighting system is controlled by a Martin Professional MaxModule Cerebrum, a powerful touch-screen control unit, working through four Martin Ether2DMX8 routers, one located in each quadrant of the dome. The lighting control system can also be operated remotely so that the colour scheme can be managed and manipulated off site. The lighting was programmed on a Martin M1 lighting console. The new lighting system will showcase the facility as part of the city’s vibrant Sports District and will also include coordinated illumination with Champions Square, which also uses a Martin Professional lighting system. Solomon Group, which also served as the media technology designer for Champions Square, developed the lighting concept to create a multimedia environment that would enhance the New Orleans skyline. “Our goal was to create a lighting system that is both innovative and aesthetically stunning. Onlookers are sure to be amazed


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