Brisbane’s Skyneedle is revived with light

Posted on Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

The Skyneedle, a prominent feature of the Brisbane skyline, was constructed especially for World Expo 88.

The 88 metre tall landmark was earmarked for relocation to Tokyo Disneyland (following the completion of Expo ’88). However, hairdresser Stefan Ackerie stepped in and purchased the Skyneedle, which was then relocated to the Stefan HQ at South Brisbane. After purchase, Stefan added his firm’s signature rainbow rings logo to the top of the tower with the aid of neon.

However on 4 November 2006, the Skyneedle was fire damaged due to an electrical fault, this incident being the second of its kind after a similar fire had broken out in 1988. Subsequent investigations have found that the fault was most likely caused by bird droppings.

Earlier this year Stefan began action to repair and revitalize the Skyneedle with plans to produce a fabulous light show. He approached Chameleon Touring Systems in Brisbane who in turn asked Adam White, Show Technology’s Queensland Branch Manager, for his expert advice.

After consultation, it was decided that Pro Shop LED Strips and Studio Due ArchiLEDs were the ideal solution. Consequently fifty Pro Shop LED Strips ring the top of the structure and are programmed to run eighteen hours a day. The eight ArchiLEDs are placed above that from where they can light up the sphere on top of the structure. The automated control is by a pair of ELC showStore XLan controllers with the show programmed by a grandMA console.

”There are a few different programs including a couple using just a single colour around the entire top ring,” explained Adam. “From a far distance, say a few kilometers away, you couldn’t really see the finer stuff and it just looked like a coloured blob. So we decided upon a single colour look for about fifteen minutes followed by a rainbow show which looks better to the people closer to it.”