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OLYMPIC GAMES / BEYOND THE PARK


COASTAL FLOODS Dover Castle has been given a fresh face to welcome visitors to the UK.


Pic: LPA Photography


Guarding the shortest distance across the English Channel, Dover Castle has been a stronghold dating back to the 11th Century. Aside from the Great Tower at its heart, the castle is instantly recognisable for its series of towers along the outer wall, running from Canon Gate up and beyond Constables Tower.


The castle walls and Great Tower have been illuminated at night for many years with sodium floodlights which, although they identified the castle atop of the hill, were uncontrolled and did little for the castle’s architectural features or history. They were also failing and the impact had been lost. With Dover being such a significant gateway to the UK this summer, English Heritage wanted to rejuvenate its night-time appear- ance and appointed LPA Lighting to bring a fresh look.


English Heritage had been considering upgrading the lighting for some years but had previously only had proposals that involved recessing into the Keep Yard and grazing the façade with LED. LPA recognised straight away that it just wasn’t viable to have major groundwork in such an historic site so they ruled that out and started to work with the existing floodlight locations, which not only kept the grounds in tact but would also keep installation costs down and maintenance easy. After a site meeting LPA realised that optical control would be paramount to a successful project; some sections of the outer walls of the castle were 60m-70m in length with only two floodlight positions so


while the original SON floodlights had lit the walls and towers, they had also lit most of the night sky of Dover and its environs. The team developed a concept based on creat- ing layers of light to take people on a visual journey along the outer wall, towards the towers of the Bailey wall and eventually to the Great Tower.


Both time and budget was tight; English Heritage wanted the new lighting installed by the summer and in time for the Olympics but budget didn’t allow for renewing the Great Tower at this stage. LPA were able to work this into the design having already decided that the layers of light would be accentuated by colour and intensity changes with a gentle wash of white light on the outer walls, more intense white light on the Bailey wall and golden light on the Great Tower.


English Heritage bought into the concept and site trials began straight away. “With the nature of the site and challenges faced, this was the most crucial aspect of getting the specification right,” explains LPA’s Liz Peck. “Optical performance was going to be the key driver and the We-ef floodlight out- stripped all others in this regard, creating striking light onto the towers but with the addition of a spread lens, created an even wash of light along the length of the walls. The superb optics (reflector and lenses) also meant we were able to go down from 400W SON floodlights to 150W CDM-T ones, a reduction in energy use of nearly 70% con- sidering gear losses. We opted for a 4200K colour temperature to increase the contrast


with the Great Tower.”


On the Bailey wall, the existing floodlights were pole mounted and an eyesore; LPA were able to reduce the height of these significantly and the much smaller flood- lights, again 150W CDM-T, now have a much reduced visual impact. English Heritage opted for a green RAL colour paint finish to further lessen the visual impact. “We even ended up specifying sheep on the project ahead of the installation,” says Peck. “They live in the moat during the summer to keep the weeds and grass down but we asked for them to go in early to make the installation and commissioning possible, one of the more surreal moments in the project! We managed to get the com- missioning done in one night aside from a few minor adjustments and the project was finished ahead of schedule.” www.lpa-lighting.com


PROJECT DETAILS


Dover Castle, Dover, UK Client: English Heritage Lighting Design: LPA Lighting Installer: SSE Contracting


LIGHTING SPECIFIED


15 x We-ef FLC240 EE HIT-CRI 150w with IO LINEAR LENS (Very narrow beam reflector with horizontal lens) – Outer Wall infill 14 x We-ef FLC240 M HIT-CRI 150w (Medium beam reflector) – Towers on Outer Wall


14 x We-ef FLC240 M HIT-CRI 150w with IO LINEAR LENS (Medium beam reflector with horizontal lens) – Bailey Wall


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