Penn Elcom has supplied specialist LED lighting for the retail areas of The Source, a new cutting-edge super Skate and BMX park just opened in Hastings, Sussex, UK … on the site of the former municipal White Rock swimming baths.
This fantastic, innovative and cool transformation of the 130 year old baths originally opened in 1878 on land reclaimed from the sea right underneath Hastings’ Victorian promenade was the brainchild of Rich and Marc Moore, owners of The Source BMX a highly successful BMX online and e-commerce operation.
The resulting £1.25 million subterranean project is one of the largest skate parks in Europe, 600 ft. long and kitted out with a variety of state-of-the-art ramps and obstacles for skaters and BMX enthusiasts of all abilities and levels of experience.
Funded by The Source in conjunction with the local borough and county councils and the Regional Growth Fund, it’s been an instant success with the urban sports community and adrenaline lovers locally, nationally and internationally.
The Source BMX has been a Penn Elcom customer for some time, primarily for assorted AV and lighting requirements. When the skate park project was in its infancy two years ago, Rich asked Penn Elcom’s Rob Platt if the company could propose a lighting scheme. Rob engaged lighting specialists Nigel Howes and Razvan Vassiliu and the three worked as a team to design and specify a lighting solution for the park’s retail areas.
Before the park opened, The Source BMX, had a small shop space down a nearby side street, so with development of the new site, this was moved and dramatically expanded.
The brief for lighting the show required a blend of funky and eye-catching lighting for the display cabinets, and practical and appropriate lighting for general illumination of the spacious environment.
Rich was very keen on this also having a daylight look – a sense of irony coupled with the need to display merchandise clearly and cleanly.
The Penn Elcom team suggested LED for its cost saving, longevity and low maintenance, putting forward a combination of products from their own Comus proprietary product range and premium brand Osram.
It was important that the main lighting emulated daylight, so 32 x Comus 600x600 cold-white LED panels with a 5700K colour temperature were chosen and installed in the celling of the shop area. They give the impressive crisp, even, high-impact skylight effect required.
The panels – which can also be dimmed if required - are arranged as 4x4 configurations in eight different locations, giving smooth coverage across the whole space.
The display cases needed a completely different approach, so to highlight and accentuate their shaping and depth, they are outlined with Value Flex VF600-G2, a flexible Osram LED product - for which Penn Elcom is a distributor. The daylight option at 6500K was chosen to best match the cool white appearance of the LED panels.
The Flex is ensconced in Comus aluminium profile casing for stability and protection and which also acts as a heat sink, assisting in dissipating the heat and boosting the lifespan of the LEDs. The casing is fitted with a clear cover for protection and maximum light transmission.
The Flex strips and the overhead LED panels are controlled via wall-mounted switches.
“These two products provided an excellent, reliable and cost-effective result” comments Nigel.
In addition to the lighting, Penn Elcom also supplied a large quantity of birch plywood to the project to build the skating ramps and BMX tracks, a task undertaken by 9C Solutions from Horsham.
Normally Penn supplies this to flightcase manufacturers, but the flexibility and durability of the wood makes it perfect for this application.
A quantity of Comus cables and Neutrik connections were also delivered by Penn as part of their package for use with various AV elements.
Rob Platt comments, “We are extremely proud to be involved in this project which is unique in the world. Rich and Marc have really pulled off something extraordinary in converting the disused and neglected old baths into a thriving hub for anyone into skating and BMX’ing. It’s no understatement to say that The Source will change Hastings.”
The transformation has already begun! The town is rapidly shaking off the ‘Costa del Dole’ tag that it unhelpfully landed a decade ago, and is reinventing itself as a place for fresh art and alt. culture as well as again appreciating its historic architectural richness whilst zooming towards being a trendy, go-to destination for their younger, edgier and more inquisitive thinking.
The Source has been incredibly busy since its launch last month. It has a capacity of 600 spectators in the balconies overlooking the main arena and it’s already filling up with booking for skate competitions and sporting fixtures and practice sessions as well as general public access.
The café and coffee lounge have meantime become a buzzing meeting place for anyone in downtown Hastings wanting good food and a lively atmosphere, and the positive vibes look set to continue in all directions.
Photos courtesy of The Source