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The Aberdeen Science Centre is set to become the second five-star visitor attraction in the city


Visitors to the Aberdeen Science Centre in Scotland were recently wowed by its transformational new look. The Zumtobel Group lighting brands Zumtobel and Thorn were proud to work closely with electrical consultants CCDP and contractors G & A Barnie Group Ltd to deliver a flexible, high-tech lighting solution for its £6millon refurbishment.

Aberdeen Science Centre, located on Constitution Street, was completely modernised over two years as part of a major redevelopment project to create an aspirational science centre that reflects the STEM priorities for both industry and education.

More than 60 new interactive exhibits over two floors await visitors, including The OPITO Theatre of Energy – the UK’s first immersive experience of its kind – and RoboThespian, a chatty humanoid robot sponsored by the centre’s Digital Futures Partner, Equinor.

The exhibits are aimed at all ages and are themed into six new zones: Energy; Space; Life Sciences; Make It, Test It; and a special area for the under-6s, as well as the Shell Learning Zone, where science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are brought to life.

The redevelopment was made possible by the generous support and funding from the Inspiring Science Fund – a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and Wellcome – with additional funding provided by Opportunity Northeast (ONE) and Aberdeen City Council.

Electrical consultants CCDP were tasked with finding a modern, energy-efficient lighting solution to fit into the centre’s ceiling, which has exposed services. The chosen solution needed to be adaptable to reflect the ever-changing needs of the facility. They turned to the Zumtobel Group for a multi-brand solution.

The exhibition and multi-purpose spaces are lit with Zumtobel’s versatile and efficient continuous-row lighting system, TECTON in black, to blend into the exposed ceiling configuration. For the primary exhibition space VIVO, spotlights were added to the system, and for the emergency and exit lighting, CROSSIGN and RESCLITE PRO modules were installed.  Additionally, TECTON with MPO was used for the general lighting in the multi-purpose spaces.

Ken Scott, Partner, CCDP, comments, “We were able to select different beam widths for the VIVO spotlights; this enables the client to easily change the configuration when new exhibitions come in, giving them ultimate flexibility. The multi circuit / switching TECTON allows for multiple scenes to be created with the ‘flick of a switch’ making it easy and flexible for the centre’s operators and negating the need for specialist engineers to attend site.”

Zumtobel’s AMPHIBIA moisture-proof luminaires were selected for the kitchen areas.

The breath of the project also included staff offices in which Thorn IQ Wave emits comfortable, glare-free illumination with a sleek, simple look. The service areas and stores rely upon Aquaforce waterproof luminaires to provide robust lighting no matter what the conditions.

The scheme is completed with external lighting from Thorn Katona wall luminaires and Areaflood.

Steven Gunn, Branch Manager, G & A Barnie Group Ltd, comments, “We were honoured to be awarded such a prestigious job and required a flexible, easy to install, low maintenance lighting scheme to match. The Zumtobel Group fittings didn’t fail to deliver. We were so delighted with them; we have since ordered more for other areas of the building.”

Elaine Holland, Head of Operations at Aberdeen Science Centre, concludes, “We have been able to bring in the very best specialists in their respective fields to create a new and exciting experience for visitors, with engaging, thought-provoking exhibits we hope children and adults from Aberdeen and much further afield will enjoy visiting time and time again. Our new lighting system meets the brief perfectly and complements our hi-tech, futuristic surrounds and has completely modernised the space. In the future, as we accept new exhibits, we have complete flexibility to change the system to suit the new displays. The response from the public has been overwhelming, this refurbishment has put us on the map again, and we hope to become the second five-star visitor attraction in the city.”

For more information on Zumtobel Lighting please visit the website https://z.lighting/en/zumtobel/ and for Thorn Lighting: www.thornlighting.co.uk.

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