Abacus Lighting successfully installed a unique engineering structure before Christmas 2006, after being invited the previous year to take part in the floodlighting project of Ireland’s most prestigious stadium, Croke Park, in Dublin. As part of the architect’s brief, Abacus were required to design and build a one-off steel structure which would adorn the Hill End of the stadium, to provide lighting for the TV cameras.
Abacus Lighting Innovate for Croke Park Stadium, Dublin
Home to the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA), Croke Park has been at the heart of Irish sporting life for over a hundred years. During the last year a historic decision was taken by the GAA to host international rugby and football matches at the 82,300 seater stadium, while nearby Lansdowne Road is redeveloped. Billboard magazine recently voted Croke Park as the worlds top rock venue.
The 38m steel structure provided a serious challenge; the mast was required to hinge at two thirds height, 25m above ground level, to allow the headframe to be lowered for maintenance. However, the architectural brief dictated that the structure be skeletal in appearance, a demanding brief taking into account the huge twisting forces acting on the mast. Abacus was able to draw on its vast experience in developing bespoke structures; this project certainly demanded different thinking and innovative approaches, all within a time scale considered too demanding by most.
Nevertheless Abacus rose to the challenge; well over 600 design hours were dedicated to the project, developing working CAD models and producing 93 detailed manufacturing drawings. Custom hydraulics and electronic components were designed and manufactured to ensure safe and successful ‘docking’ of the lowering section. To ensure the successful on time delivery the project was worked on night and day.
The mast was lowered into place before Christmas; January saw the commissioning of the mast and floodlighting taking place in advance of the first international rugby matches in February. Ireland take on England on Saturday 24th February.