Smart architectural lighting celebrates historic landmark and creates an engaging community space
Standing above the East gate of the ancient walls of Chester is a turret clock, known as Eastgate Clock. The clock tower was built in 1899 to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria and is now recognised as the second most photographed clock in England, after Big Ben. The gateway was built in 1768 but its surrounding walls date back to Roman times.
As part of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s plan to create a greener, fairer and stronger community, it decided to illuminate this historic site for a more vibrant public space. During the first lockdown of March 2020, they had contacted us to configure and reprogramme the illumination of Newgate Bridge, Chester. Thanks to the success of this project, the solutions we offered and after some internal discussion, the council entrusted us to light up Eastgate Clock. We were tasked as both design consultants, control suppliers and solution providers.
Smart architectural lighting to enhance heritage landmark
The design brief for the project specified a Control Management System (CMS) that would enable the local authorities to manage the illumination of Eastgate Clock and other architectural lighting schemes in the city so that all the floodlights are managed by one single system. It was important that they could:
- highlight the intricate details of the clock’s façade;
- easily adapt the light for different events taking place;
- enhance the charm of the city centre to increase footfall.
The control system would support the city’s journey to a smart city. The local authorities organised a series of night trials to test different lighting solutions, suggest alternatives and consider all possible scenarios.
Schréder technology takes the smart LED
Thanks to our experienced team of experts, we were able to demonstrate our highly flexible and easy-to-use Control Management System (CMS) and its connectivity which met all of the customer's criteria.
After all applications had been considered, Urbis Schréder was by far the best option for this particular project.
A quick and straightforward installation
The SCULP range of floodlights was chosen to illuminate this historic landmark. The SCULPLINE is recessed in the ground to highlight the archways while the SCULPFLOOD were mounted on the surrounding buildings to light the main gateway. SCULPDOT floodlights were installed inside the clock tower to light the clock face.
Thanks to our adjustable mounting systems, the floodlights deliver uniform lighting across the structures with zero glare for people passing by. As night falls, they transform the landmark into a scenic feature for entertainment and public engagement.
We worked closely with JRP for a quick and straightforward installation and Ringway for the groundwork. Our team of experts was on-site to ensure a successful collaboration and easy commissioning of the smart architectural lighting system.
Bespoke control system creates dynamic light shows for festivities
The entire installation is controlled by a bespoke, user-friendly control system based on the DMX protocol. It enables the local authorities to easily schedule dynamic scenarios months in advance to celebrate different festivities and public events with colour-related light shows. The team can open the interface at any moment with a web-connected device to consult the live status of the lighting scheme. Each floodlight can be individually controlled to create a multitude of lighting effects.
Collaborative working between Urbis Schréder and Cheshire West and Chester Council has delivered a connected solution where we are now able to remotely illuminate a Grade I listed building in seconds from any location with an internet connection.
The local authorities can also use the same control system to manage the architectural lighting for Newgate Bridge and Chester Town Hall so they only have one interface.
Architectural lighting sets the stage to forge connections
The new dynamic architectural lighting has transformed this landmark, already a prime tourist destination, into a public work of art and a symbol for the local community. Thanks to the energy-efficient floodlights, it will also save energy, carbon and money for the city.
Public reaction to the project has been very positive indeed. We have had many compliments, which has been really encouraging and our lighting event requests schedule is increasing each year.