The Palace of Arts - Budapest in Hungary (locally named Művészetek Palotája, abbreviated Müpa)is one of the most prestigious concert halls in Central and Eastern Europe, designed by leading architect Mr. Gábor Zoboki in 2005.
Its previous colour-changing lighting system, installed a decade ago, had become outdated and did not provide the deep, highly saturated colouration desired by the architect. Therefore, with TriGránit Management Ingatlankezelö és Hasznosító Kft. on board as investor, a tender was initiated for modernisation of the façade lighting system, which SGM won clearly by engaging with local distributor, Zaj System House Trading.
Their executive director, Tamás Fazekas, explains: “As this is a stand-alone building on the banks of the Danube, which is bordered by one of the busiest bridges in the city, all of the façades are of equal importance and the lighting system must concentrate on each of them without any exclusion.”
Different lighting manufacturers participated in the tender bid and thus a shootout was held last autumn on two chilly evenings where the products were put through their paces. Zaj System House submitted a complete projection design for the shootout in cooperation with Mr. László Vértessy, owner of Tissy Lighting Ltd. “The dominance of the SGM P-5 was unquestionable from the beginning,” says Tamás Fazekas. “No other product had such lighting power, which was very important because of the high level of surrounding street lighting and light pollution coming from different sources.”
He continues: “The best minute came when Mr. Csaba Káel, the Chief Executive Officer of Müpa, and Mr. Zoboki came to check the demo; they were excited and happy, realising how nice their building would look with the new illumination technology.”
The installation phase
Zaj System House, celebrating its 20th anniversary as an SGM distributor, is accustomed to installing permanent outdoor lighting systems. They can boast a vast reference list including the design and installation of the façade of one of the biggest shopping malls in Central Europe (Aréna Pláza) in 2007, illuminated by 69 pieces of Palco 3 which were the top choice at that time – and the predecessor of today’s P-5. The reliability of this successful installation became a perfect reference during the tender process.
After the official order came in for the P-5 wash lights, the removal of the former fixtures, the modification of the structures, the design and fitting of the new electrical system, the installation, setting and testing were all executed by Zaj System House’s team, led by Mr. József Zsemberi, one of the company owners.
90 P-5 wash lights were used for the extensive façade illumination. 48 of these were custom-made in silver colour to be placed on 5- and 8-meter high columns (2 or 4 units per column) to resemble the former fixtures, although the smaller shape and size of the P-5s creates a clear benefit. The remaining SGM wash lights are placed on terraces, roofs and stands in the garden - three pieces are even mounted at 18-meter height in the atrium, which were installed by industrial ‘alpinists’ as no one else could achieve this height.
P-5 provides the bright, homogeneous colours desired
The objective was achieved by introducing the P-5 to Müpa; a LED technology based, small sized, elegant, custom colour finished, low power consumption – but very high power output fixture, which offers different projection angles and fulfils the architect’s original dream to turn the complete building into any deep and saturated, or light pastel colour desired.
“As the old system could not produce sufficient light power in deep, saturated colours, in recent years the building has mostly been illuminated in white or very light colour, e.g. yellow. The new possibilities provided by the enormous power of the P-5’s began the fantasy and creativity of the architects and operators,” Tamás Fazekas explains.
“We can emphasise that all the expectations of the look, colour saturation and homogeneity have been met, and that the client and the architect are satisfied, while those passing the building every day are happy to see this nice illumination. We saw an enthusiastic Facebook post written by a 10-year-old girl living in an apartment block opposite the building, declaring how happy it makes her to see such nice colours applied to the building.”
Zaj System House has already moved onto new installations with SGM equipment, where among other projects, an outdoor stage is being installed with various pieces of the new Q-7 and the SixPack blinder.