Aspire Tower is a national icon for Qatar, the tallest building in the country and is specifically associated with the National Centre of Sports Excellence in the Middle East. The building was to be completed within 15 months for the Asian Games of 2006, and thereafter a focus for events in the sports complex and national celebrations. The lighting had to be very flexible allowing the tower to convey moods and dynamics relating to specific events. Challenges: vast height of the building (300metres); requirements for visibility at considerable distance from the tower; integration with the mesh façade; climatic conditions; very tight timescale. KSLD’s early practical approach allowed the design to develop rapidly so orders could be placed.
Essentially the system consists of 3,800 individually addressable custom LED fittings designed in conjunction with the manufacturer to provide a high-visibility colour-changing node. These are controlled using a vast DMX system programmed through ColourTramp software specially adapted for this project -this was the largest network this system had been installed on at the time. To address thermal protection of the LEDs the output is reduced when the temperature on the board reaches critical thresholds rather than have the unit switch off so that the integrity of the display is maintained albeit at reduced output. One of the effects KSLD wished to create was a strobe-like sparkle. This was achieved by overdriving the LEDs with time-limiting operation to achieve the brightest output possible without causing component damage.