Friday 15 Apr 2011


Battelle Grand Renovation at the Greater Columbus Convention Center

65,000 color-changing combinations of LED accent luminaires create a spectacular wavelike effect as lines of light integrated into floating architectural ceiling fins transform the experience of light and space at the renovated and expanded Battelle Grand located within the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Ohio. Illumination, architecture, and materiality all unite in what has been praised as a "marvelous experience realm" by the publisher of The Official Columbus Visitors Guide. Now the largest ballroom in the state of Ohio with a 24,000 square foot main floor and 24,000 square foot mezzanine, lighting by HLB was a key component for the $40 million face-lift and included energy-efficient and long lamp-life sources such as induction and LED.

Discreet DMX control of each fin panel allows for almost limitless possibilities of static and kinetic scenes appropriate for the wide variety of uses in the ballroom. The ceiling above the fins was painted a reflective colour, which captures the blended light for a greater depth of experience and is able to produce a range of supplementary effects from a twilight sky to a dramatic sunset depending on the different color combination options chosen for the lighting system.

The general illumination is provided by downlight cylinders fitted slightly above and between the fin panels utilizing a combination of both induction and halogen lamps, accommodating functions requiring 60 foot candles as well as those, which require only a few foot candles. The induction lamping addresses maintenance and sustainability goals delivering 100,000 hours lamp life, while the halogen lamping addresses flexibility goals by allowing for lower light levels suitable for more intimate settings. Ceramic metal halide down lights in lowered soffits balance the illumination levels at the room perimeter. The color-changing motif is brought through into the prefunction area by integrating LED luminaires into jut-out details highlighting the grand feature wall.

Built as part of the original convention center in the 1980's, the existing hall consisted of an austere space with minimal architectural detailing and finishes, and the lighting system was comprised of utilitarian luminaires lamped with outdated HID technology. The revitalized illumination contributed to the overall design goal of creating a flexible, high-end facility that was technically capable of supporting a wider range of functions. The lighting design met the difficult challenges of achieving these extensive functional and aesthetic needs of the space, while also meeting budget and energy code constraints. As part of the renovation design led by LMN Architects and Karlsberger Architects, the once fully enclosed space was opened up floor-to-ceiling on the south wall, developing a visual connection to the heart of the city and introducing the benefit of natural light.

The Battelle Grand is "the new place to be" according to the Columbus Dispatch, and the distinctive illumination for this premiere facility has been honored with a 2011 Lumen West Award of Excellence.

HLB Lighting Design