Chauvet lights Price Tower in Pride colours
Monday, 5 October 2020
pricetower2The impressive lighting display covered the entire length of the building
USA - When explaining how he designed Price Tower in Bartlesville, OK, Frank Lloyd Wright described it as a “tree-like mast” supported by a central trunk of four elevators shafts anchored by a deep central foundation. The arrangement made it possible for the building’s 19 concrete floors to extend outward like cantilevered branches of a tree reaching over 220ft to the sky.
Today, 64 years after its completion, the only skyscraper designed by Wright inspires as powerfully as ever, reflecting its creator’s belief that “all fine architectural values are human values”. This spirit was celebrated in September when the noted building glowed in vivid colours in honour of Pride Month with help from a collection of Chauvet Professional fixtures supplied by GW Illumination.
“This project was initiated by the Bartlesville Chapter of Oklahomans for Equality for Pride Month,” said Price Connors, education and outreach specialist at the Price Tower Arts Centre. “The City of Bartlesville proclaimed Bartlesville Pride Month in September (postponed from June, because of COVID-19), and Price Tower Arts Centre graciously supported their wish to light the Tower in a show of support. Marty Smith and Rick Lloyd were also essential to this project.”
The many of the distinctive features that endow Price Tower with its power to inspire, presented challenges to the design team, which was led by John Gasche, Technical Director of GW Illumination.
“Price Tower is a masterpiece, but from a lighting point of view, it’s not an easy building because of its many different faces,” said Gasche. “Our project included four of the nine distinct faces of the building, including a 13-story vertical wall of windows with vertical copper louvers between each, and balconies that jutted out from the face every other floor. Also included in the project were a column of bay-like windows that divided the horizontal wall of windows with horizontal copper louvers, and a 19-story outside staircase.”
“To compound the issues, our colour scheme had to account for the building’s green weatherized copper tint as well as the light loss from the horizontal louvers that occurred when the light projected upward. “John Gasche’s knowledge of how light reacts on various surfaces was a key element to the project,” said Chris Wilson, the project’s primary lighting designer.
Helping the design team meet these challenges was an impressive collection of CHAUVET Professional fixtures that included four COLORado Panel Q40 units positioned at ground level on 9ft trusses and placed on the flat roof of the canopy; two COLORado 3 Solo zoomable washes placed at the base of the Tower; one Ovation E-910FC-IP colour-rendering ellipsoidal placed on 9-foot truss below the triangular staircase; and two COLORado Solo Batten 4s placed on the roof of the canopy facing the tower.
Wilson described how the GW Illumination team created an engaging balance of colors throughout the multi-dimensional building. “Our goal was to achieve a more harmonious colour scheme, using the Pride colours,” he said. “We chose to begin with violet transitioning to blue and green.
“The COLORado Panel Q40 has been our number one choice,” continued Wilson. “It’s a phenomenal fixture because of its long throws, sheer power, and exceptional colour mixing abilities.”
The impressive lighting display covered the entire length of the building. GW Illumination’s design team relied on the vertical louvers to act as channels for the light to project up the Tower.

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