A dynamic display

Banpo Bridge in Seoul, South Korea used to be a rather ordinary connection across the Han River. But no longer thanks to a one-of-a-kind fountain feature that dramatically shoots jets of water from the sides of the bridge, and a Martin Exterior range lighting scheme that dynamically illuminates the water show after sundown. The extraordinary water and light display has become a major attraction in the capital city.

The Banpo Bridge water feature shoots 60 tons of water every minute from some 380 nozzles located on each side of the 1.4 kilometre long bridge. Water is pumped up from the river below and reminiscent of a waterfall, arcs gracefully 20 meters to the Han below. The fountain was unveiled in September as the world’s first large-scale water fountain from a bridge.


The jets of water ‘dance’ to music in 100 different choreographed movements. Creating an even more fantastic scene at night is a dynamic lighting scheme from 190 Exterior 600 colour changing luminaires.


Water management and technology firm OASE designed the fountain and supplied the water feature equipment for client Seoul Metropolitan Infrastructure. Lighting design was done by Jack Chung, Technical Manager, Light & Sound at OASE Asia Pacific Pte Ltd in collaboration with Martin Singapore.


The lighting brief was straightforward – to light the fountain in a variety of attractive colours – and to that end Chung chose the Martin Exterior 600 for its overall quality, and the angle of the light was just what he needed.


The Exterior 600, supplied locally by Martin’s South Korean distributor Hansam System Co. Ltd and mounted beneath the bridge, is a programmable, IP65 rated luminaire with full colour mixing, full-range continuous dimming and uniform distribution of light and colour.


“The beam angle, the colour, the illumination, the IP rating and the price were all just right,” Chung stated. “This light was the answer for this project. It is of great quality and the effect is much better than I imagined it would be.”


As the water jets move up or down, individually, in waves or in unison, shades of colour also shift, subtly or dramatically, to the music. The effect needs to be seen to be appreciated with hundreds of shifting water streams mixing with ever-changing colour in a powerful yet strikingly graceful water dance.


The city of Seoul operated the water fountain on a trial basis throughout the month of October. After reviewing ways to minimise energy consumption and maximise the dramatic effect of the fountain, it will go into full operation in the spring. Also in the plans are a bridge café, viewing decks and Han River cruise viewings.

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