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Anolis Flowers in South African Architectural Install

PLSN Staff • International News • December 2, 2011

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – Protea Court, which houses 70 new international and luxury retail outlets, was inspired by the shape of South Africa’s national flower, the Protea. A lighting install of Anolis LED fixtures accentuate the curvy roof and girders of the structure, allowing the architecture to “breathe” with color and movement.

More details from Anolis (

Anolis in Architectural Lighting First at New Sandton City Extension, Johannesburg

Protea Court is the newly opened extension to South Africa’s glamorous retail destination – Sandton City in Johannesburg.

It features the first ground-breaking architectural lighting installation of its kind in South Africa, designed by Paul Pamboukian and senior lighting designer Joao Viegas of Paul Pamboukian Lighting Design (PPLD). Installed are 115 Anolis ArcPad 48 and 12 ArcSource 96 fixtures highlighting the 34 meter high, 42 meter diameter, 11 degree sloping roof structure and its ETFE inflatable skin.

These were supplied by Anolis’ South African distributor DWR, who also undertook the installation and commissioning of the lighting system. DWR’s three installation technicians completed full Rope Access and Working at Height safety courses before starting on site, with approximately 70 percent of the Anolis fixtures needing to be rigged externally on the roof structure.

Protea Court – which houses 70 new international and luxury retail outlets – was inspired by the shape of South Africa’s national flower, the Protea and designed by Tia Kanakakis from MDS Architects.

PPLD was asked to create an innovative lighting scheme to accentuate the striking shape and aura of Protea Court, in the process capturing the mood and spirit of the whole cutting edge development and retail ‘experience’ with lighting.

PPLD specified ‘green’ lighting technology for several reasons:
First, to match the energy efficient ethos behind the roof, a fluorine-based product with high corrosion resistance and strength over a wide temperature range. Just two microns thick, it lets through all natural light while providing insulation. Comprising 146 air-filled cushions, restrained within a network of profiled aluminum extrusions curved to the shape of the steel structure, it is also a first in South Africa.

Secondly, they wanted to ensure that the long-term operational and running costs of the lighting scheme were efficient and budget friendly, so LED was an obvious route.

Thirdly, after exhaustive testing, they knew that using color changing LEDs would work in the space and also offer additional dynamic, flexible options, e.g. shading the roof differently for special events and occasions. They were also convinced that the texture, look and feel of high quality modern LED fixtures was ideal for the application.

Aesthetically, overall, they wanted the lighting to accentuate the vertical space and make the strong structural definition of the roof with its beams and girders come alive and “breathe.” The central lift shaft is based on the idea of the Protea-stem, bursting out at the top into a petal-like curvature and canopy.

PPLD had not specified the Anolis brand before, but after researching, DWR – and Dan Riley – was one of the first calls. Fixtures that produced a smooth, rich even coverage with no shadows, pixilation or blockiness across the roof expanse were of paramount importance.

The 115 ArcPad 48 RGBWW Integral and 12 ArcSource 96s RGBWW Integral fixtures are arranged over three rings around the roof dome, of which a center cluster of 60 ArcPad 48 Integrals above the top of the lift shaft are the only Anolis fixtures inside the building. Above these – outside – are 12 ArcPad 96s in the center, plus the other 55 ArcPad 48s on two rings lower down.

The fixtures are optimized to wash the entire roof area. Three subtle mixed-color looks are currently programmed as default states, adding finesse and complementing the huge architectural statement made by the roof itself.

“Using Anolis fixtures and DWR for the installation were definitely the right moves,” confirms Pamboukian. “It all works exactly as I envisioned.”

Dan Riley adds, “We are proud to be involved with a project of this stature with such amazing results, and glad to see the equipment specified for all the right reasons.”

Data is distributed via four LSC DMX splitters. The Anolis units are powered locally and some special ESA Pro Stand Alone PC-based control software was dispatched from the UK, which is programmed to run various programs from dusk to dawn, slowly changing the accent illumination on the structure, with sporadic color bursts on the hour and for special events.

The biggest physical challenge for the DWR site team of Bruce Riley, Eazy Moketsi and JC du Plessis was the tough working conditions. With few areas of the roof that could be walked on, most of the rigging was done from the air, an arduous task taking four weeks to complete, and contending with assorted weather conditions – from rain to high winds – all of which interfered with the workflow.

On site, they worked closely with Duane Jolley from contractors WBHO, and DWR was sub-contracted through Vector Foiltech.

Protea Court is one of the most talked about South African business developments of the year. The project’s
joint venture contractors Aveng Grinaker-LTA and WBHO recently took top honors in the annual Southern African Institute of Steel Construction’s 2011 Steel Awards for their role in the project.

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