Project: Dubai Aquarium
Oasis Enterprises, in collaboration with US-based CD+M Lighting Design Group, has won an award for lighting the aquarium at Emaar Malls in Dubai UAE.
The project won the Sound and Stage Award for Lighting Installation Project of the Year in 2009. Commissioned by Emaar Malls in 2007, the partnership developed a lighting system to bring the best aspects of the aquarium to life.
The aquarium holds the Guinness Record for having the world’s largest viewing panel. The 50 meter long aquarium, located strategically in the center of the mall, is flanked by two glass tunnels at varying levels offering windows into the incredible diversity of marine life.
A visitor traveling through these will be treated to an exceptional underwater experience as they come eye-to-eye with sharks, stingrays and other species of fish in their natural habitat. The aquarium’s main viewing panel measures 32.88 meters wide, 8.3 meters high and 750 mm thick, and weighs 245,614kg. Overall, the main aquarium is 50x17x11 meters (length x width x height).
The aquarium also has a centerpiece 270-degree walkthrough tunnel. Designed by Ted Ferreira of CD+M, the tunnel is not a focal point of lighting array.
Basel Al Aref, general manager of Oasis Enterprises, says that the lighting design of the aquarium has been set apart by the inclusion of a “special 'lunar-cyclic' lighting system that alters the lit ambiance of the tank depending on the time of the day”.
Basel Al Aref adds that after discussion with CD+M, who commissioned them to execute this special lighting system, they decided to install an ETC lighting control system which also included ETC sensor dimming and relay switches. The technical installation also features a Pharos DMX playback controller.
The lighting presentation showcases the best aspects of the aquarium’s architectural design, and its inhabitants, which include more than 33,000 marine animals representing 85 species in almost 10 million liters of water.