Location: Kuwait City, Kuwait
Lighting design: Kevan Shaw Lighting Design
acdc products: Fino
KIPCO Tower (formerly known as United Tower) is one of a cluster of tall buildings in Kuwait City. The first building of its kind in Kuwait it offers office space, luxurious apartments and retail outlets within a single site. The development is located in the financial district of Sharq, neighbouring the Al Shaheed and City Tower, and has become known as one of the most innovative and industrially distinguished structures in Kuwait.
Kevan Shaw Lighting Design was tasked with providing the tower with a clear, dynamic night-time identity to make it stand out from its neighbours. By using the coloured panels set in the building’s façade, KSLD integrated LED lighting into the spandrel glazing, providing a random arrangement of single colour elements. Integration of the lighting to the facade needed to be carefully detailed to provide a degree of cooling to the LED fittings enabling long life and efficient operation, vital in the harsh climate of Kuwait.
KSLD’s design intended to deliver two specific themes on the façade of the building without colour mixing, instead giving each lit element a specific colour to achieve the desired dynamics. The themes chosen to animate were: ‘waterfall’ which presents a gentle cascade in green and blue colours; and ‘diamond’ which animates all colours with a white sparkle provided by random strobing of white panels. In the course of programming the client requested additional themes including a snowfall effect, playing digitally generated snow across white and pale blue elements over a solid blue ground; and a Kuwait flag, with edge lighting in the flag colours of red, white and green, and a red and white animation over a green ground.
After difficulties with the original supplier, KSLD were tasked with finding a suitable alternative. Kevan Shaw adds, “We had recently completed another tower project in Kuwait with acdc and we were confident they could provide the LED equipment we were looking for.”
Numerous acdc products were supplied for the interior and exterior aspects of the building to create a fully kinetic lighting installation, with RGB Fino making up a large amount of the Million pound project. Due to the problems with the original supplier, acdc had to adapt their fitting designs to integrate with the constructional detail already developed and manufactured. Fino fittings were thermally bonded to blind boxes in the air conditioned space to ensure adequate cooling, and controlled by DMX; with each lighting element being individually addressed and grouped by location and colour to ensure straight forward response to dynamics developed in the control system.
Commenting on the project, Kevan remarked “the project was not without its challenges however the end result has made it all worthwhile. The fittings were pretty much trouble free and did exactly what we wanted and expected. One of the main successes was delivering a scheme that met the client’s ambitions for brightness and readability. We also successfully met the challenge of providing additional looks and shows requested at the last minute on a scheme that was designed very specifically to achieve the original two conceptual shows. This is the only LED scheme we have done to date where the client has asked us to dim elements as they were too bright!”