Photos by Louise Stickland
Robe products are known for their ruggedness and reliability, making them ideal for all types of exterior installations and the toughest of operating conditions, which is why LEDForce 18 PARs and Anolis ArcSource Outdoor 4MCs were specified – together with other lights – to illuminate the Pesapuu (Nest Tree) Watchtower in Rõuge, Estonia.The new 30 metres high Watchtower is located near to Rõuge Suurjärv, Estonia’s deepest lake in the Rõuge parish of Vöru Country, a conservation area recognised for its outstanding natural beauty. The structure − which replaces an original wooden watchtower built in 2006 −- was designed by Tallinn based architect Karmo Tõra.
The industrial looking steel tower juxtaposes yet blends with the landscape, it looks attractive and interesting in winter and summer and resembles a tree with two bird’s nests. It’s also a symbol of great pride for the picturesque town and residents of Rõuge explained Mayor Tiit Toots, who fully endorsed the project and its proposed lighting scheme.
Roadservice, the company who built the structure, already knew the lighting products they wanted to use – which included the 12 x Robe LEDForce 18 LED PARs and the six Anolis ArcSource Outdoor 4MCs, and had placed the order with Tallinn based E&T, Robe’s Estonian distributor.
The LEDForce 18s are rigged within the structure around the two bird’s nest elements and as dusk falls, they wash the steelwork creating an inviting glow around the nests that permeates and reflects across the rest of the mast of the structure, so the Watchtower becomes a subtle extension of the magnificent landscape.
On top of the tower is an egg shaped pod which is lit by the Anolis 4MCs, bringing a touch of intrigue to the object.
When it came to providing lighting control, Roadservice approached locally based Andres Sarv, head of lighting at Tartu’s Vanemuine Theatre and a lighting consultant of some repute for several projects in the area.
He assisted with suggesting a system and provided Tõnis Järs, one of Vanemuine’s regular freelance programmers, to address the devices, sort out the DMX and programmed looks for the opening night and the ongoing day-to-day lighting.
The lights can be changed by Tiit and his colleagues on the town council via an IoT system website or locally on site using an smart phone app.
It’s also possible for local residents to engage with the lighting by making suggestions for example for World Prematurity Day when the tower was lit in purple. Whenever a child is born to the municipality, that evening the “egg” in the upper bird’s nest is lit pink or blue according to gender, which has very quickly become a most heart-warming and popular tradition!
While steely blue and white signature colours look elegant and refined, the whole tower can also be colour changed for festivals and special events.
“The lighting is absolutely the finishing touch,” declared Tiit, who is extremely pleased with the results which have also been a big hit with the public.
Rõuge City Council also reckons that having the facility to light the tower has already boosted visitor numbers to the area, especially in the autumn and winter with the long hours of darkness … while many people struggle during these seasons, it adds great environmental value and more potential to a lighting installation like this.