National Robotarium, Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh campus.

Contractor: Robertson Construction
Architect: Michael Laird Architects
Consultant Engineer: Hulley and Kirkwood
End User: Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh

Project Overview

The National Robotarium at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh is a world-leading centre for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, launched as a partnership between Heriot-Watt University and the University of Edinburgh as global leaders in robotics and autonomous systems.
The National Robotarium creates innovative solutions to global challenges through pioneering research, development and testing. The programme has unrivalled technology and facilities, world-leading experts and is developing cutting-edge robots of the future. The aim of the research is to deliver substantial benefits for society, with a focus on job creation and building digital skills in the workforce, for an industry where humans and robots work in partnership. Heriot-Watt University appointed contractor Robertson Construction and architect firm Michael Laird Architects to create a design for the newly-launched building for 2022, and Robertson Construction appointed LITE Architectural to provide a full turnkey lighting solution for the exterior façade of the building.
LITE carried out the planning of the installation and supplied the light fixtures, recommended a number of solutions from their market-leading portfolio, and delivered all aspects of the project within time scale and budget. The brief was to create a modern and dynamic lighting design to illuminate the glass façade on the exterior of the building. Challenges included the placement of the lights on the narrow 3ft cavity between the façade and the glass, which is used for ventilation and air conditioning, ensuring that the lighting was placed correctly to have the desired effect.
The team created the perfect solution, adding a linear light fitting to each of the mullions in the glazed panels on the right hand side of the elevated façade above the reception area. Color Kinetics ColorGraze Compact Powercore RGBW created a dynamic colour changing lighting effect, controlled remotely by a Pharos Architectural Controls LPC Controller. The stunning effect is a flexible and adaptable lighting solution which is a testament to the modern and innovative technologies that take place within the building. The effect is particularly striking at night, creating an awe-inspiring building that stands out on the campus.
The university can have full control over the colour change to create light shows to mark annual events on campus, and this lighting solution will be an inspirational vision for students for years to come. Richard Cairns, Senior Project Manager at Robertson Construction, said: “We had worked with LITE on previous projects where they had provided an impressive full turnkey solution, and we knew that they would once again act as a trusted and reliable partner to provide the best lighting solution possible for this project.
“We are thrilled to have worked on this project together, and proud that the end result exceeded the client’s expectations. LITE worked within budget to ensure that everything was completed within a time scale for the launch of this new leading research centre, providing various suggestions and solutions to the client to identify which would best meet their needs for a striking end result.”

Products Used

ColorGraze Compact

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