H&M, one of the world’s largest retailers, opens its latest New York flagship at Herald Center where the illuminated storefront gets a dynamic look from lighting designer Christien Methot who used Clay Paky’s new Show Batten fixtures and a grandMA2 onPC system to wrap the structure in a dance of color and light. A.C.T Lighting, Inc. is the exclusive distributor of Clay Paky and MA Lighting brands in North America.
Located at the southwest corner of 34th Street where Broadway and Avenue of the Americas converge, Herald Center is set to become a fashion destination for millions of New Yorkers and visitors who pass through busy Herald Square. The 63,000 square-foot store will showcase all of H&M’s fashion brands as well as H&M’s Home Collection. The renovated structure is topped by a bank of low-resolution Barco LED fins flanking a bullnose elevator shaft.
“They had wanted to install another LED wall right on the corner but zoning regulations prohibited it,” says Methot, who heads design one lighting design. “So they were left with a dark and ugly elevator shaft. We had pitched the idea of illuminating the shaft from the inside and had them frost all the glass to create a good canvas to illuminate.”
Methot’s design for the storefront brightens the night sky with a bold play of animated lights that dance across the giant LED walls. Lights spiral, chase, explode in fireworks and fall like snowflakes while the glass-faced bullnose complements the changing patterns and color palettes.
To achieve this Methot deployed 24 new Clay Paky Show Batten 100s attaching 12 each left and right to the bullnose structure. The Show Batten 100 is an LED moving bar housing ten high-power Osram Ostar RGBW LEDs inside a 100 cm (39-inch) aluminum cylinder. Each parameter of each LED may be controlled individually: color, 16-bit dimmer and 24 Hz strobe.
“We attempted to make the bullnose feel like a seamless part of the video content,” he explains. “We mapped the Show Battens into the raster of the Barco system, so we got a chunky rendition of the color and texture of what was playing on the LEDs. A grandMA2 onPC ran the Show Battens and two 2-port nodes; to translate Barco into the Show Battens we used a Hippotizer.”
The Show Batten fixtures have a 240º tilt and can rotate smoothly and quickly. They are compact, rugged and lightweight at only 9 kg (19.8 lbs) each. Several bars may be arranged in a line or matrix with a constant fixed distance between the LEDs.
“Show Battens are one of my new favorite lights,” says Methot. “I’ve been specifiying them a lot. I love the fact that they tilt, and the zoom is fast and extremely helpful.” He also likes having “control of the ten RGB nodes on each Batten. There are enough DMX channels that each node can be treated like a pixel. It’s a great fixture – light and bright!”
Methot notes that the building illumination was a very short turnaround project. “The deadline came up quickly but A.C.T, Clay Paky and MA were all able to meet it. Everyone was very accommodating,” he reports.
Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, added, “We knew that when we introduced our Show Batten, designers would immediately find creative ways to use them. This job is a great example of where our new light shines!”