Rundle Lantern – a beacon of innovation in Adelaide

Posted on Monday, November 3rd, 2008

When the city fathers (and mothers) of Adelaide, capital of South Australia, wanted to enliven their city precinct by night, they conducted a design competition to see what might be offered. Local design firm Fusion, knocked them out with a proposal to permanently wrap an eight-story car park building with a moving illuminated canvas.

Fusion’s concept was not for yet another giant video screen suitable for watching football, motor racing or music videos. According to designer Damien Mair: “The vision for the Lantern was to create an experience that would capture the imagination of the city and add beauty to people’s lives.”

Wrapping more than a thousand square metres of display around a car park building that relies entirely on natural ventilation to clear away the exhaust fumes from its occupants, calls for an unusual screen format. Mair’s solution was to construct the display from 754 individual anodized aluminium “tiles” individually angled to allow maximum viewing from the streets below, but offering minimal impediment to the building’s natural air flow.

Each of the 714 active tiles is illuminated from below by a pair of custom-built Space Cannon Bisquit LED luminaries, for a total of 1428 “pixels”. The Bisquit luminaires deployed on the Rundle lantern are IP66 rated exterior fixtures containing12 high-efficiency LED sources (4 x red, 4 x green and 4 x blue). They are configured for full-spectrum RGB colour mixing via DMX512A, and remote addressing using the RDM protocol.

Images are fed over Ethernet to the Rundle Lantern from a Hippotizer V3 Stage media server in the bottom of the building, and distributed by Enttec’s Datagate and Ethergate decoders via banks of Technical Art Solution DMX splitters. System design and configuration was undertaken by Fabian Barzaghi and Dan Ditmann of Space Cannon Australia.

Content creation and management for the Lantern is supplied as part of an ongoing contract by the design team at Fusion, using Green Hippo’s Pixel Mapper software and the Zoo Keeper remote management software, from their facility in central Adelaide.


Space Cannon Australia: