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The Constellation, The Founder's Memorial, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Prize(s) Winners in Light Art Project
Company dpa lighting consultants
Lead Designers David McNeil, Director, dpa Lighting Consultants
Other Designer's names Lee Sweetman, Director, dpa lighting consultants
Architecture Company Artist - Ralph Helmick
Interior Design Company N/A
Client Ministry of Presidential Affairs
Photo Credits Alex Jeffries Photography
Other Credits Artist - Ralph Helmick
Completion Date March 2018
Project Location Abu Dhabi, UAE
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Entry Description

The Constellation evokes the timelessness of Sheikh Zayed’s vision, which continues to offer the UAE guidance along a path of progress and prosperity.

We collaborated closely with the artist to achieve the optical visual performance of the lighting scheme. A particular challenge was the task of conceptualising and developing a lighting scheme that would highlight the unique artwork from multiple viewing angles, whilst retaining the subtle complexity and depth of the sculpture.

Exhaustive lighting studies were carried out to determine the most practical solution to illuminate the artwork. Following mock-ups, multiple light sources with flexible optics were decided as the optimum approach. This then was proven at full scale also fulfilling the criteria of budget, load allowance, maintenance. A custom-made fixture was developed that gave us the optical performance required, adjustability of aiming, control and flexibility for fine tuning.

The Constellation consists of over one thousand three hundred geometric shapes suspended from more than one thousand tensioned cables. These elements are known as ‘platonic solids’, renowned for their mathematical beauty and symmetry. Each fixture is fitted with a 3.5w warm white LED and integral DMX control, enabling the exact tailoring of the lighting scheme to respond to the differing textures and forms that make up the artwork.