Belgium’s brand new 20,000-seat Ghelamco Arena in Gent – the new home to football team KAA Gent – has opened complete with a cutting-edge media façade on all four sides and exterior architectural lighting scheme designed by leading European creative visual design practice, Painting With Light.
Ghelamco CEO Paul Gheysen was named chief developer on the project. He opted on a Philips Lighting Solutions complete scheme with bespoke control solution using a Coolux Media Player Pro Server for specialist visuals in certain areas of the new venue.
The dynamic and highly flexible Media façade is built from 9km (approx) of Philips CK iColor Flex LMX product – flexible strands of intense colour changing LED pixels 12cm apart. These are placed in vertical lines with a vertical pitch of 12.5cm apart all around the building. The horizontal pitch is 115cm and the façade covers over 10.000sqm in total. In addition, 64 Philips CK eW Graze Powercore LED strips are incorporated into the design.
The bespoke control system for these involves a Coolux Media Player Pro server running CK’s Video Systems Manager component and Coolux’s Media Manager Pro, with Coolux Widget Designer PRO triggering everything. This lighting is controlled from a grandMA2 on PC console running via KiNet protocol.
Custom media content – some of it highlighting sponsors lCgos and other clips consisting of high-impact ambient material and texturing, converging in eye-catching animations – plays out on the scheme. Special events and information or promotions can also be graphically displayed or appear as text on the exterior of the Arena and new content can be produced and programmed into the system at any time.
The exterior lighting elements feature over 500 Philips LED fixtures of various types including ColorBlasts and Graze Powercore.
The roof is outlined with another 140 x Philips Color Kinetics eW Graze Powercore LED strips which can dramatically change colour. The cantilevered overhanging sections around the roof are coloured using 232 x Philips CK ColorBlast PowerCore LED floods. At ground level, the gallery level section of the building shell is illuminated with another 220 x ColorBlast PowerCores.
The lighting fixtures have been pixel mapped to allow video content to be run through them as well as onto the Media Façade, allowing lighting to be matched to the current video content on display if desired, producing various colour glows and other subtle but sympathetic effects.
The lighting and the Media Façade can also be triggered by sound inputs and there are a number of inbuilt public interactivity options in the system.
At the front entrance, the lighting design is completed with eight panels on the outside which are up-lit with 64 x ColorBlazes, plus eight advertising posts each with three Clay Paky Sharpies mounted in Igloo weather domes on the tops for creating piercing beam effects.