The Storm Coaster is unique – a thrilling rollercoaster designed holistically and integrated with a building. From afar, the 50m tall building beckons with a sophisticated illumination scheme designed in coordination with the bespoke structure. The geometry hints at the dynamic experience within, where a 670-metre track wraps its way through the building.

As the lead design consultant, Cundall’s global team including lighting design, structural engineering, building services, acoustics and architecture, saw 89 people from 13 disciplines across 11 offices and eight time zones converging in the digital realm to push the boundaries of design. Every part of this extraordinary puzzle was created in synergy, with lighting design playing a starring role in creating an exceptional user experience and an emblematic presence in the heart of Dubai.

The Storm has also entered the record books, with the 2022 Guinness World Record for the fastest vertical launch for a rollercoaster.

In addition to the rollercoaster itself, the project incorporates the front of house guest experience, rollercoaster maintenance zones and major building services support rooms.

This was an engineering-led achievement, where extraordinary levels of precision were required in every respect, including the lighting strategy, choice of luminaires, smart lighting controls and the safety by design strategy to facilitate future maintenance. Robustness is required, to ensure the brilliance is not compromised by the searing desert heat or episodic dust storms.

Creative flair is evident in the synergy between the structural and architectural design elements and the nuanced glow and shifting hues of the lighting. Together, they elevate even pragmatic forms into beautiful features that enhance the overall aesthetics of the building. After sunset, The Storm Coaster becomes radiant as the external façade is illuminated by 3m x 3m fully addressable linear triangular luminaires. The Pharos lighting control system, commissioned by Creation Gulf, allows the lighting to mimic extreme storm weather conditions echoing the theme of The Storm Coaster inside.

Additional event-based scenes were also commissioned for the façade such as UAE National Day, in which the UAE’s national flag is celebrated using the RGBW LED luminaires, to mark this important day in Dubai. For national holidays and New Year’s Eve, a fireworks scene exuberantly showcases sparks of light emanating from a point source, showering and radiating across the façade luminaires.

At the centre of all design is the drive to elevate the human experience, including non-riders visiting the surrounding precinct. As the interior of the coaster is visible from the outside, a vicarious thrill is generated through glimpses of the RGB triangular luminaires positioned along the inner edge of the façade. These flood the interior with colour giving riders a unique immersive experience, and the 4,000m of LED luminaires incorporated into the sinuous track, synchronising with the ride is also visible to onlookers.


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