Stockholm-based Spectra Stage & Event Technologies, Wybron's Swedish dealer, completed a massive permanent lighting installation on the Garantibank Headquarters in Istanbul on June 21, bringing Wybron color to the skies. The 400-foot-tall structure (120 meters) was the last of eight bank buildings in Turkey for which Istanbul-based The Partners commissioned Spectra to complete the lighting design.

Lighting designer Per Sundin wanted the façade of the building to stand out, but had to keep Mother Nature in mind. The Spectra team fit 28 Wybron outdoor model Large Format Aquaram color changers onto Philips ArenaVision MVF 403 1800W HID floodlighting luminaires to drench the front stone walls of the bank in beautiful shades of blue and aqua. In addition to the benefit of delivering exact gel colors, the Aquaram is built to withstand the elements. The control switch panels are water resistant, the vents shrouded, and the circuit board is conformal coated, protecting the electronics. In addition, rubber seals secure the transparent panels over the front and rear apertures.

Additional Philips’ fixtures with a blue dichroic filter were focused on the center concrete walls. Sundin explained, “I wanted a serene feel to the front. While the center remains a static blue, I wanted the stone walls on either side to continuously transition through very specific blue and aqua tones, almost as if emulating the ocean.”

The 30-foot-tall flagpole (10 meters) on the top of the building was lit in a way that provides both style and functionality to the installation. Covered in 200 feet (60 meters) of Sweled Ultra Bright LED Neon Flex RGB tubing, the color of the pole indicates the weather conditions in Istanbul for the following day, which is programmed daily from inside the building.

The entire lighting system, including the Aquaram color sequence, was pre-programmed on computers and loaded onto 5 LanBox-LCE mini DMX controllers, which are integrated with the master operating system for the entire bank building. The bank system now operates everything from the lighting to the air conditioning and elevators.

The biggest challenge to the team was that the bank was built several years ago, without consideration to exterior lighting. Spectra oversaw the construction of 28 custom brackets for the Aquaram/ArenaVision fixutures to mount 5 feet out (1 1/2 meters) from the face of the building and allow for a 6º tilt. They also had to custom manufacture the braces for the LED tubes on the flagpole to allow visibility from all angles.

Ola Melzig, production manager for Spectra explained, “This was a very exciting and challenging project since neither me nor Per typically do lighting for buildings. We learned a lot during this rollercoaster. It was fun to work with products designed specifically for the outdoors and the effect is fantastic.”

Firat Kasapoglu, owner of The Partners said, “I always thought good lighting would be a very good idea for that building. We always try to do projects that we can add value and show the people in Turkey that a good project can be done. I am happy to say we are getting a great response."