Flame Fountain, Baku

Officially opened in a ceremony held in the presence of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, on December, 30th 2011, the Baku Flame Fountain has already become a landmark in the capital city of Azerbaijan. Standing imposingly in the middle of a large fountain pool, this triple helix flame shaped sculpture is gorgeously manufactured in high grade stainless steel with a well-polished mirror finish and is equipped with 1,600 metres of glass rod cladding rails. The flame sculpture weighs more than 60 tonnes and is the centrepiece of a new public park recently built on a run-down industrial area on the Hedar Aliyev Avenue, the main highway leading into the city from the airport.
Designed to withstand very strong winds and earthquakes, this twisted flame tower symbolizes the intimate connection of this country with fire. Azerbaijan has long been called "the land of fire" owing to its many gas fields causing the phenomena of "burning hillsides". The flame also represents Azerbaijan’s success as an oil and gas producing nation. Every night, since the end of last year, a giant burning flame has been celebrating this ancestral bond with a dynamic game of light, fire, water and music, where different articulated patterns display an unforgettable eye-catching show.

The structure's modular design allowed it to be manufactured in sections and subsequently fitted with over 1,500 banks of LED lights fixed directly onto the tower body and concealed behind specially manufactured glass rod cladding rails that allow an even diffusion of the light coming from the LED profiles. The LED lighting fixtures required for this extraordinary project needed to be first of all highly flexible, modular and fully reliable being installed onto a 30 metre high structure sited in a harsh weather beaten location. Moreover, a full digital control over all functions was a vital requirement in order to seamlessly manage the complex lighting scheme of the flame sculpture, which was also required to harmonize with the water jets choreography of the three surrounding fountains. GRIVEN was able to offer in a record time a fully custom made independent pixel modular bar that could comply with all the required features of this project and, at the same time, compete with different solutions coming from other lighting companies. Tailored versions of the newly engineered Graph-i-Code were therefore chosen by Baku’s Municipality to comply with the need to perfectly adapt the lighting modules to the twisting shape of the tower. Graph-i-Code is a newly conceived versatile and powerful architectural lighting solution that features numerous configuration set-ups for the maximum application flexibility in the pixel lighting industry. Mounted on large surfaces, this high impact IP65 full color LED module can be used to screen low resolution video-footage, or display a boundless layout of graphic patterns. Moreover, Graph-i-Code adaptability is further enhanced by the number of LEDs this profile can host and by the custom length it can consequently feature. In this case, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 independent pixel modules were slotted together on the triple helix shaped sculpture in order to guarantee an optically seamless general perception of the delivered images.

Some figures: 1,572 Graph-i-Code banks, featuring a total number of 8,688 single pixels corresponding to 26,064 DMX channels, are managed by a software and hardware lighting control system, which is made up of 30 DMX Output interface units (AL2026) and 1 Lighting Media Server (AL2025). Each DMX line has been insulated by 60 DMX insulators (AL2085). Along with the lighting and control system, GRIVEN has also delivered a dedicated control board for the management of both electrical connections and lighting effects. A dedicated on-site programming has been optimally developed directly by GRIVEN’s engineers.
This dynamic lighting scheme has been further enhanced by 8 units of GRIVEN's Kolorglobe MK2 7000, a powerful CYM single beam color changer searchlight, with a compact beam visible from an outstanding distance. Placed around the pool that surrounds the flame sculpture, the 8 Kolorglobe MK2 7000 searchlights have been configured to create a truly spectacular display owing to the combination of moving beams and color changes. Specifically designed for suspended use on touring show applications, these searchlights are weatherproofed to a certified IP44 rating for a comfortable exterior use. They offer huge creative possibilities for live event use; the wide range of features make these units ideal for rental companies, as well as for permanent installations in large-scale concepts.

The final result is an exciting automated show where the faultless interface of the flame tower lighting system with the sound and water control of the three water fountains allows the creation of amazingly synchronized choreographies and stunningly matching effects of water, light and music. The Flame Fountain is a masterpiece that completely repays the huge work done in less than 6 months by the many companies, workers, engineers, architects, designers and planners that have proudly contributed to the success of this modern tribute to fire.
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