It was about 400 days to go to Beijing 2008 Olympic Games when the building cluster of main venues emerged and we began to think about how to optimize the outdoor lighting of those venues. suppose: if in front of such two huge monsters as the Water Cube and Bird’s Nest on the 60m wide landscape avenue on the middle axis merely are ordinary public urban lighting facilities, they certainly will be overshadowed. Then, how can we create a distinctive outdoor lighting and atmosphere in fine concert with all these venues? Maybe we still are intoxicated by a design inspiration of “life tree-like” landscape tower, or we all along expect to imbue each part of the Olympic building cluster with the national spirit. And this time, it is the maidenhair tree. A design concept wells up in our heart, that is, to adopt the maidenhair tree leaf in building the image of the landscape lamp poles.
The maidenhair tree, the oldest precious species unique in China, has a life as long as thousand years and is reputed as the “living fossil” in the biological world. It was praised by Guo Moruo, the famous poet as the “witness that witnesses the long history of China dating back to the ancient times”. Hence, it may be said to be a symbol of China. If arrays of maidenhair tree-like landscape lamp poles stand straight along the Olympic landscape avenue, it certainly will incorporate the essence of the Chinese nation, and such five huge tree leaf-like lamp leaves on the top may finely contrast with the five Olympic rings. At last, this design idea was accepted.
According to the requirement for lighting, 29 landscape lamp poles in total shall be set up, with a highest point of 25m, round plane, a crown diameter of 13.5m; the main supporting structure is of full steel structure with a diameter of 1m, and aluminum decorative profiles on the surface of the silver lamp leaves and main poles. Along the eastern side of the landscape avenue on the middle axis are 25 poles vertically arranged from south to north, with other four located in the centre of the ceremony plaza at an interval of 72-90m.
The landscape lamp poles serve as such functions as main functional lighting and landscape lighting on landscape avenue on the middle axis and further provide functions such as broadcast, communications, security monitoring, and information release and so on. Another main function of the pole is the solar on-grid electricity generating system.
The solar electricity generating PV units are installed on the top of sun-shading devices below 29 information poles as sun shield. There are totally solar electricity on-grid generating systems; each solar PV electricity system is equipped with 54 PV units, with every 18 units in series into a PV branch, forming three branches; the temporary capacity of each unit is 80Wp, and each system is totally 4.32kWp; the overall capacity of 29 PV power systems can reach 125.28kWp; and three PV branches of each system are properly linked with a 5kW grid inverter, the outlet of which is connected to a LV distribution panel. The landscape lamp poles, as a cunning combination between major architectural functions and requirements for landscape, rise straight from the horizon, and become a beautiful scenery on the landscape avenue: with straight poles piercing into the blue sky through white clouds, five silver lamp leaves stretching to different heights look like the crown of a tree, or blooming fire works, or even a spouting spring; these shiny and extraordinarily splendor lamp poles, dancing trippingly and happily around the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube like a flock of naughty fairies, are beautifully interspersed in the starry sky at night, giving the Olympic avenue a sensation of vividness and unique dramatic charm.
Design Advisor: Cui Kai
Building Designer: Kang Kai, Fu Xiaoming, Dong Yuanzhen
Structural Design: Fan Chong (范重), Peng Yi, Yang Su, Tan Chengdong, Wang Yihua, and Hu Chunyang
Electrical Design: Electrical & Lighting Studio of Beijing Institute of Architectural Design
Landscape Lighting: Wang Dongning