Comics Station Antwerp
Lighting and Video Design Brings Comics to Life
CATEGORIES Theme Parks Architainment
A Unique Theme Park with Unique Lighting
The new 6000 square metre Comics Station Antwerp indoor theme park, located in the city’s famous central station complex, was in need of lighting and video design & installation. At the heart of the attraction are Belgium’s best loved comic heroes – characters like Suske en Wiske (Spike and Suzy), Jommeke, The Kiekeboes, the globally acclaimed multi-character Smurfs, bandit-chasing Lucky Luke and a celebrity flourish with Urbanus, each with its own style and colours, requiring a different design approach.
The Painting with Light team collaborated closely with Panasonic Belgium and AED on the AV elements and fully specified the lighting elements of the project, which involved nearly 1300 fixtures being used to illuminate over 60 attractions. These are spread across four stories and six zoned entertainment areas.
Painting with Light also took on the role of projection consultants, following Panasonic’s initial study of the building and specification of the hardware, which included 22 projectors and 86 LCD screens. This entailed fine-tuning the final positions, choosing the lenses and calculating alignment, beam angles, focuses, throw distances, etc.
Another challenge was the rigging positions for lighting and projectors, which had to be chemically fixed into the walls and ceiling areas.
Being a busy international railway station, the rules and regulations, health and safety requirements, etc. were super-tight, and the entire design process was meticulously planned, prepared and revised over two years.
Then, once green-lighted … everything had to be delivered, installed, programmed and ready for opening in a timeframe of around 3 months!
When it came to choosing hardware, as well as energy-consciousness, long term maintenance and reliability being high on the requirement list, so were compact dimensions and the need for lights to be unobtrusive.
Around 10 different types of Gantoms are rigged throughout Comics Station, including floods, spots, pin-spots, gobo-projectors and ellipsoidals.
For the atrium space and some of the larger areas, bigger and more powerful fixtures were needed, so different Chauvet LED PARs were selected together with their Rogue R1 Spot and Wash LED moving heads plus Chauvet’s Maverick spot and wash moving lights.
All the lighting is run via seven networked Pharos LPC1 controllers, which are linked to a wider building / attractions control system.
Discover our Comics Station interviews here:
- Technical Supervisor Dieter Venderickx
- Associate Lighting Designer Kristof Devriese
- Video Systems Coordinator Hans Cromheecke
- Wim Hubrechtsen, CEO of Comics Station Antwerp