Our exterior lighting scheme for the new Geology Centre in the Al Madam desert
was recently opened by the Sultan of Sharjah. We were engaged by the site’s architects, Michael Hopkins Associates, to provide a dramatic lighting solution to the key geological features of the Jebel, so that it could be enjoyed at night by visitors to the centre.
Mindful of the nature of the project, we used as little power as possible to achieve the lighting scheme: 24 150W LED floodlights consume around 3.6KW, only 12% of the power recommended to light one single football pitch, but is used to light an area many times greater. By mounting the fixtures on the roof of the viewing gallery, visitors are unaware of the source of the light & by setting the fixtures to switch on at sunset, the change from day to night is seamless and visitors are unaware of the lighting until the daylight has gone and the Jebel is illuminated against the perfect darkness of the night sky.
By choosing to light the Jebel from a frontal approach, it also means that we have minimised spill beyond the outcrop, and are limiting wasteful sky glow. The scheme is part of an entire visitor experience, which shows the importance of the geology of the region and the story of some of the first people to live in the desert in the Neolithic period.