The flexibility enabled by a catenary lighting system suspended from Ronstan Tensile Architecture’s structural cables facilitates purposeful illumination. For large open public spaces, the soft lighting from a catenary system creates a peaceful transition between environments and maximizes the usable footprint of the area by limiting light poles, masts or intrusive support structures.
A vibrant and bustling entertainment precinct, the St. Pete Pier is Florida’s latest lifestyle attraction. Celebrating its official grand opening in July, 2020 – the twenty-six acres along Tampa Bay is an inviting place to stroll and explore, or simply sit and enjoy the view.
In recent years, St. Petersburg has undergone a grand revival. What used to be known as “God’s Waiting Room” is now a modern playground for millennials and families. Its latest park on the pier invites visitors in under the subtle, but purposeful glow of a Ronstan suspended catenary lighting system.
Christoph Gisel, Associate IALD, and Senior Lighting Designer at worldwide engineering firm Arup summarized his concept and the final installed project below:
“The pier approach consists of a public park leading to the new Pier and includes access roads and parking. Pedestrian elements with contrasting associations of light and shadow, create a unique expression after dark and defining the use of space. These include market structures, catenary lighting through palm groves and accentuation of landscape features.”Christoph Gisel
The Florida climate and St Pete Pier’s proximity to the sea makes the beauty and weather resistance of Ronstan 316 Stainless Steel cables a natural fit. Arup invited Ronstan to collaborate early on in in the planning process and made good use of Ronstan’s extensive experience creating catenary systems throughout the project.
The inherent advantage and flexibility of a cable net of luminaires made easy work of designing around a challenging mix of mature palm trees and existing infrastructure. Electrical contractor Borrell Electric and lighting contractor Sesco Lighting worked together seamlessly with Ronstan to install thirty-five ACS2 Structural cable assemblies. Cable end fittings were joined using a mix of standard and custom Ronstan componentry. Installed using boom and scissor lifts, it now hangs effortlessly above the approach to the pier, guiding guests to what will surely be a most enjoyable visit, or as the Pier District has dubbed it, an exPIERience.
All Photos: © Dirk Shadd