Wiggins Park, Camden Waterfront, New Jersey

Wiggins Park, Camden Waterfront, New Jersey

September 18, 2006

Located along the scenic Delaware River across from Philadelphia, the Camden Waterfront in New Jersey is a scenic stretch of urban river shoreline that abounds with cultural and historical attractions.

An important part of the Waterfront is Wiggins Park, a popular area that features a marina, promenade and outdoor concert venue, Riverstage. The Park serves as the perfect summer outing with views of the Delaware River and Philadelphia skyline.

In late 2005, a Martin color changing system of 91 Inground 200 luminaires was installed in Wiggins Park by Parsons Electric of Magnolia, New Jersey to uplight trees along the promenade walkway and around the Riverstage area. Lighting design was handled by Grenald Waldron Associates, an architectural lighting design firm based in Philadelphia. Principal on the project was Sandra M. Stashik with William M. Kader project manager and lighting designer.

Grenald worked closely with client Delaware River Port Authority (DRPA) throughout the project. “The DRPA sent out an RFP for the lighting of the Camden Waterfront which also included lighting of the DRPA building in Camden,” William Kader commented. “The object was to create a vibrant, safe environment which involved the entire waterfront along Camden, which is a long stretch. One of the client’s main requests for the tree lighting was to create a visual interest from Philadelphia across the river.”

Inground 200
Grenald went through an extensive mock up process in which they lit the trees using a variety of sources - LED, incandescent, HID - and ultimately went with the Martin Inground 200. Ambient light levels around the Camden Waterfront area proved to be a determining factor. William explains, “One problem is that the type of fixture that Camden has chosen as their typical street lighting pole is an Acorn type luminaire with a 250W high pressure sodium lamp which spreads light 360 degrees. Subsequently, your eye ends up focusing on this big ball of light. The contrasts were bad and it took away from the lit environment we were trying to create. We tried LED lights in trees, and different LED uplights which worked well except when dealing with the ambient lighting. We found that the most brilliant, and the fixture that did cut through the ambient light levels was the Martin Inground 200. That was a major part of the criteria – to be able to be seen at night through the existing ambient lighting and the Martin fixtures do it well.”

Grenald was very cognizant of the fact that going with a metal halide fixture with stepper motors and moving parts was an additional maintenance concern for the owner “but ultimately in a side by side comparison it was the metal halide that performed so much better than the LED in that environment,” William states. “We investigated other options, and looked at the latest technologies but ultimately it came down to the fact that if it doesn’t look good, why pay the additional cost for the latest technology if it ultimately will not work. What we liked about the Inground 200 is its simplicity - it’s CMY with dimming. We also like the modular aspect. In case something fails, that component can be replaced easily. We have a regular maintenance schedule set up with DRPA which is important with any color changing install but especially with metal halide with stepper motors.”

Something Unique
Principal on the project, Sandra Stashik, has been a member of the Grenald Waldron Associates design team since 1985. She comments on the desire for a unique solution, “We needed a strong solution that stood on its own in order to set a certain atmosphere. We needed something that would be different but still had a strong influence on the park at night. We needed a solution that would be memorable – a solution that people would take notice of rather than just a background of white light. There are times that the lighting had to be a show in itself.”

That ‘show’ involves an automated control system with the ability to color change. The system runs automatically via a Martin Maxxyz PC system with astronomical time clock. Control is wireless from the DRPA building to the ferry booth and stage. Artnet and DMX distribution are incorporated as well. Located in the adjacent DRPA building, the Maxxyz PC runs a daily show as well as color changing shows on holidays or for local sports teams. The design team was challenged by the extensive area of the waterfront and developed a unique wireless communication system. In addition, with the flip of a switch, the system can be manually overridden by show operators down at the Riverstage. “Wiggins Park is a performance based area with a stage that is used during the summer,” states William. “Another part of the color changing scheme was to allow the trees to be integrated into the live events so that it is an overall experience for those attending. The color changing fixtures uplight the trees surrounding the seating area and allow show designers to manually integrate the colors on the trees into their show.”

Tying It All Together
Wiggins Park sits adjacent to another color changing project that Grenald completed several years ago, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, which connects Camden to Philadelphia. “All along we looked at the entire environment in order to tie it all together, from the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to the USS New Jersey,” Sandra states. “The Wiggins Park lighting is designed to be integrated into the Bridge lighting but that connection has not yet been made due to budget constraints, but the possibility is there and ultimately that is the intent.”

The Wiggins Park dynamic lighting has been operational since New Year’s Eve. “Once the wireless links were established and the communication system up and running, the lighting system began working flawlessly. The lighting is doing exactly what we designed it to do and the client is very happy,” Williams says. “We got very hands on assistance from Martin and because our installation was so unique, we were able to provide Martin with some valuable feedback on the fixture. Martin was very good at responding to any issue in the field, took responsibility and gave us immediate solutions to any problem that arose and that was a major benefit to us. Martin Architectural in Florida and HQ were great and were often on site during installation. There are always inherent problems with intelligent lighting systems and they stayed on top of any issues that came up.”

Sandra concludes, “The support from Martin was of utmost importance for us because if we don’t have that we lose faith with the client. To see that we got results and that they stand behind the product was very important.”

The Martin gear was supplied by local Martin sales rep Penn Lighting of Pennsylvania through Turtle & Hughes electric supply. Installers and electrical contractors were Parson Electric who is commended for an outstanding installation. Service maintenance is handled by Starlite Productions of Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Starlite also handles the shows at the Park during the summer season. Control specialist and integrator was Bruno Silva of Martin US.

Principal / Director of Employee Development, Grenald Waldron Associates

Sandra Stashik has been a member of Grenald Waldron Associates design team since 1985. As a member of the Executive Management Team formed in 2002, Sandra's responsibilities include hiring, staff development and studio resource manager. Her strong design and technical expertise lends itself to her award winning urban design, campus planning and large corporate facility projects. Sandra's projects reflect the design philosophy that all lighting has an effect on the quality of people's lives. Whether designing a corporate office, or a downtown or campus master plan, improving the lives of the occupants or users is a prime concern. This philosophy is coupled with the selection of lighting equipment that will provide effective energy utilization and sustainability. Sandra is a Fellow of the Illuminating Engineering Society, past member of the Board of Directors, and past Chairperson of the National Energy Management Committee. She is a professional member of the International Association of Lighting Designers, certified Lighting Consultant, a registered Professional Engineer as well as a LEED certified designer.

Senior Project Manager, Grenald Waldron Associates

Bill joined GWA in 2004 bringing over 19 years of entertainment and architectural lighting design experience including designs for entertainment facilities, retail, hospitality, healthcare and corporate environments around the world. His strong desire to serve clients is embodied in his philosophy that people will view lighting as a reflection of the essence of the building and the environment. He has a comprehensive background in lighting controls, intelligent lighting systems, energy management, auditing and analysis of lighting systems. In addition to his architectural designs, Bill has an extensive background in theater and television lighting and is an active designer with several theater companies. Bill is a member of the IESNA.