Michael Grubb Studio delivered the enchanting and immersive lighting scheme, designed by lighting designers Spiers + Major, for the newly opened southern part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London. Speirs + Major were part of the competition winning team led by James Corner Field Operations (JCFO) and MAKE. Following the tender process, appointed contractor SKANSKA selected Michael Grubb Studio as the lighting designers to realise the scheme.
It was the detailed design and engineering of the iconic spheres that proved to be the biggest challenge for Michael Grubb Studio. The original proposal involved the potential re-use of four metal halide spotlights from the original Olympic Park project as part of the client’s desire to recycle fittings where practical. After a series of mock-ups this proposal was changed to a purpose built solution designed by Michael Grubb Studio in collaboration with Mike Stoane Lighting, which was engineered to connect to the catenary, system and create the required distribution. This option helped resolve many complex technical issues and offered increased energy savings.
A further set of mock ups were conducted which explored the detail of the construction of the sphere itself, including how it would connect to the catenary system. Tests also looked at access for maintenance, and most crucially the design and drilling of the holes. Consideration was given not only to creating the desired pattern at night but also to look good during the day. Three prototypes with varying hole sizes were constructed, rigged up, filmed and reviewed by Speirs +Major, Michael Grubb Studio and LLDC before the final design was selected.
You can view the mock-up here: https://vimeo.com/71722568