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BAKU Crystal Hall

The Baku Crystal Hall is a modern, multi-functional event arena with a capacity of 23,000 spectators. Located near National Flag Square on the coast of Baku, Azerbaijan, design and construction had to be completed in only nine months, just in time to host the hall’s first major event, the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The 206-metre-long and 168-metre-wide steel construction is coated with a slightly transparent, illuminated membrane facade, which lends the building its characteristic crystalline appearance. The lighting concept was designed to serve the crystal volume and the character of the event.

5,400 LED RGB light points that are strictly geometrically distributed over the entire vertical facade surface allow the dynamic sparkling light effect that creates the great visual impact during the dark hours and provides the possibility of including the facade into the overall media staging of events…

The dynamic lighting facade became an essential part of the choreographic show concept of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012; right before the performances of the artists the respective national flag was shown on the facade in a more or less abstract way and was integrated into the television production, just as virtual camera flashes. The intelligent lighting control system made a flexible programming possible and allowed new options for the future and opened the gate for the special visual needs of upcoming events…

Each point of light of the facade is designed as an integral part of the facade structure and consists of two independently controllable RGB LED light sources. One light source glows directly, while the other one generates an indirectly reflected corona on the membrane; this results in a much softer appearance. Furthermore, special colour contrasts can be achieved with the separately controllable foreground and background colours…

Each point of light in the chain is individually controllable, equipped with 9 SMD RGB LEDs, and was equipped with a diffuser dome. Also, the technical bodies of the LED luminaires have been encased to optimise the appearance of the illuminated facade. Due to the very short planning and construction period, it was absolutely crucial to resort to a proven lighting product available in the market…

The installation on site had to occur fast and uncomplicated, so that the choice fell on a LED RGB chain that could be variably preconfigured in different lengths. A total of 1080 LED chains with 12 different length configurations were applied. Power supplies and controllers of the LED chains are positioned in sub-distribution boxes, mounted on the facade construction behind the membrane and the ribbon cable connections between the LED light points are invisibly embedded in small installation canals on the membrane facade…

The design team of architects, all engineering disciplines and lighting designers created a solution based on the synergies of all team partners. Even the construction team and companies were involved in a remarkable early stage. Baku and the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 had the symbol and a major branding element…