Illuminating an emotional memory

News /
25 June 2015
Illuminating an emotional memory
The major challenge for lighting designers was how to design an illumination system that would reflect the emotion and reverence of the event while achieving subtle, seamless integration of luminaires.

Cutting-edge lighting technology is playing a pivotal role in creating an emotional night-time experience for observers of ANZAC commemorations at one of Sydney’s most significant memorial sites.

The ANZAC Memorial, designed by architect Bruce Dellit and located in Hyde Park in the Sydney CBD, is just as relevant today as it was when constructed in the 1930s. However, as the centrepiece of the ANZAC Memorial Ceremony in 2014, the City of Sydney and NSW Public Works Government Architects Office wanted to light the structure in a way that would befit the occasion.

The major challenge for lighting design firm PointOfView (POV) was how to design an illumination system that would reflect the emotion and reverence of the event while achieving subtle, seamless integration of luminaires. Working with the fixed positions of existing pole structures, and with only six weeks lead-time to complete the job, added further complexity to the work of the design team.

What the team was able to achieve with high-performing equipment from WE-EF, which offered a range of lens and wattage configurations, is nothing short of breathtaking.

When receiving an award of commendation from the Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand (Lighting Society) for the project, the judges said: “Even with the fast-tracked redesign, this is a testament to how a worthy project can still be delivered by a collaborative team. This Sydney landmark can now be further appreciated by the implementation of a well-designed lighting scheme.”

The monument includes four granite sculptures in each corner, representing ‘The Four Seasons’ and 16 seated figures that signify the ‘The Arts of Peace and War’. The design team from POV gave the utmost respect to the architectural elements of the structure without shying away from making a striking statement.

“It needs to be a contemplative space, with a very strong and bold presence,” the POV design team stated. “The lighting effects are bold, enhancing the facets of the architecture without too much intricacy, yet enough to reveal the details.”

This is primarily achieved by LED narrow beam projectors mounted on poles and focused on each of the statues. A hierarchy is created through the use of higher wattage projectors to give prominence to the four corner statues, and lower wattage for the seated figures. These combine with uplights defining the inner face of the columns.

The lighting design brings the statues to life, with a strong directional modelling  revealing details. The crown is defined with warm amber LEDs integrated into the Ziggurat-styled stepped roof. Linear LED integrated uplighting is used to anchor the corners of the building, with high-output LEDs concealed within aluminium angles. The lighting is controlled by the use of a time-clock.

“The light sources were mounted on poles beyond the boundary of the site. With the long anti-glare snoots and the tight, narrow beam control we were able to keep the fittings at a distance where they weren’t read with the building,” POV’s designers explained.

The use of LEDs also brought with it numerous benefits, including long life to ease maintenance requirements and the ability to create very tight beam angles using lensed optic technology with limited spill light outside of the peak beam angle.

The latter was important not only in achieving the effects of the overall design but also in minimising light spill into what is one of the biggest parks in the centre of Sydney’s CBD – a vast improvement on the previous lighting scheme, which saw the monument floodlit from all sides.

The WE-EF luminaires specified for the project, and supplied by Light Culture, included FLC131 and FLC141 projectors (24 W and 36 W, respectively), with remote gear and spigot mounting. Each fitting was required to pan and tilt – a principle reason for using the Type 1 mounting – to enable a fine-tuning capability once the fittings had been installed.

“The lumen output, together with the narrow beam angles and a colour temperature that is complementary to the stone, made WE-EF right for the job,” the POV design team said.

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