Facade Lighting: Stanley Street Woolloongabba
When Brisbane City Council launched their City of Lights Creative Lighting Scheme in 2019 their aim was to “activate the city, bring people together to celebrate our enviable lifestyle, support small businesses and strengthen the night time economy”.
Keeping well informed and up to date on all council initiatives and already passionate about using light to revive building facades, this grant scheme made it easier for building owners to invest money they otherwise would not have into beautifying their buildings facade.
Brisbane has a wealth of heritage buildings, and after some consideration and on foot exploration, Neue felt they had hit upon an ideal location. Stanley Street is Brisbane’s busiest road, and at its bustling stretch through the centre of Woolloongabba, the street is lined with several heritage buildings on either side. The building that caught Neue’s attention was the shop building at 609-613 Stanley Street. Built in 1903, the shop is a well-preserved example of Federation-era architecture, and one of the few commercial buildings of its time and type still functioning as a business property. The building has housed many businesses in the past,
hairdressers, tobacconists, drapers and even a bank. Currently the building hosts both the Woolloongabba Art Gallery and French bistro C’est Bon and Le Bon Bar.
Ordinarily Neue are sought out by clients to fulfill pre-determined objectives, however, in this case we had taken it upon ourselves to seek out this unique opportunity and use our creative talents to not only deliver and amazing project but create it out of thin air. After engaging with all prospective parties including Brisbane City Council, the building owner, the building architect James Davidson, and building tenants, Neue was able to outline a project that would not only to highlight the buildings existing architecture, but the resulting dynamic lighting display would actually bring more business, making a measurable impact on the night time economy of the building residents and the surround areas.
Neue undertook project management from beginning to end, and with government and heritage involvement, this included skilful navigation of regulations and restrictions. Neue undertook the process of securing funding via the Creative Lighting Scheme, and the reimbursement of funds to the owner upon – succesful – project completion. Dealing with multiple respective authorities through a myriad of meetings, visualisation of the predicted results was key, requiring the use of extensive visual design materials from our graphic designers. Rigorous on site testing was required, as well as the processing of multiple permits; heritage exemption clause certification, glare assessment, certificates for adequate lighting levels, safe for work permits, working from heights certification… the list goes on. All products for the project were sourced through Neue strategic partner database.
The installation itself provided one of the key challenges of the project. The bustling central location on not just Brisbane busiest road for traffic, but a busy pedestrian thoroughfare, meant the logistics of installation had to be carefully considered to achieve results as quickly as possible with minimal impact to the business and surrounding areas. Rather than obstructing the walkway and consider the possible impact of installation on traffic, Neue came up with the unique idea of installation not from the bottom up, but from the top down. Abseiling down the side of the building, this allowed full access to building façade without causing any difficulties below. Due to the heritage nature of the building, Neue were not allowed to drill into the existing structure, provided another obstacle. In this instance Neue used special resins, coloured to match the building surrounds, to attach the lighting to the building, meaning no impact to the structure and easily removable if required for repairs or modification. The heavy-duty cabling, coated in the same camouflage resin, is the same standard used within the Australian military, and the lighting source itself from high-spec IP67 silicon flex. Installation was completed over a period of just five days, and well within the project timeline. The project was in fact scheduled for a twelve-month period from start to finish, but work was completed within just six months. The finished product was met with enthusiastic approval from all parties, including the building owners and Brisbane City Council officials.
The owners were given a wireless four-zone control panel to allow them to adjust the display. The lights may be controlled as a whole, or as three separate sections, from top to bottom. As was part f the project brief, the lighting allowed for a range of colorways and rhythms, allowing them to choose a lighting scheme that would suit any special occasion. For example, a red, white, and blue colorway option proved to be a great hit with the owners, for their upcoming celebrations for Bastille Day. The resulting display has not only made the building a standout installation in one of Brisbane most bustling suburbs, but has increased visibility for the business itself, with a measurable positive impact on sales.
Neue are thrilled with the outcome of this project and are currently on the lookout for other heritage sights we can give the same care and attention. Does your business
reside in a heritage listed building? Looking to give the building some wow factor and increase visibility? Neue are waiting to hear from you.