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031 eye opener Dragon Bridge, DaNang, Vietnam


DaNang, Vietnam’s fourth-largest city, has recently unveiled a new Dragon Bridge that breathes fire and jets of water and is lit with around 2,500 Philips LED light points. The $85 million bridge features 666 metres of undulating steel in the shape of a dragon, the symbol of prosperity in Vietnamese culture, and is now a major tourist attraction.


The city government of DaNang was looking for a lighting solution that was energy efficient and would help turn the unique steel bridge into a new icon of the city. Vietnamese lighting design practice, ASA Studios, was brought on board when they presented an inspired vision of how the bridge should look. Their lighting concept is inspired by images of the dragon in Vietnam’s traditional art using light to sketch-up an vision of a golden glowing dragon lifted by the wind, flying through the clouds. The intelligent LED lighting solution paints the iconic dragon with five different colours, customisable for any occasion, festival or holiday. The lighting system can also be linked and synchronised easily with other entertainment systems for art performances. To minimise glare, LED fixtures along the body are equipped with bespoke anti-glare snoots installed in the opposite direction to the traffic. Along both sides of the vertical cables, LED dots are installed simulating the sea wind flowing from head to tail and creating a visual effect of the dragon flying forward. The underside is lit gently in light blue, dimming up and down, visualising the movement of the cloud reflected onto the water surface and adding to the overall impression. The cut-off angles of the Philips LED street lighting are carefully calculated to minimise light spill onto the dragon’s body while at the same time providing comfortable traffic lighting. “We are thrilled to get involved in this unique project,” Dr. Tran Van Thanh, Design Director at ASA Studios said. “The Dragon is a legendary creature in Vietnamese culture, but no one has ever seen one in real life! Using light to portray an image of a dragon that meets everyone’s imagination was a challeging job.”


The project has been shortlisted for both the FX Design and UK Lighting Design Awards. www.asastudios.com


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