An evolving frieze of light, shadow and colour
Amaranthyne by Haberdashery celebrates the history of artisanal crafts and recreational pastimes of the Mayfair district of London, explored through a 31m circumference illustrative frieze comprised of over 200,000 hand-adjusted surfaces reflecting light and colour, exploring an ever-changing cycle linked to the real-time transition of the seasons outside each and every day.
The sculpture is located within a 11m x 8.5m domed ceiling; the largest created in London in over a century. Each of the 32 decorative panels is perfectly integrated and aligned with the architectural curves, with a faceted Piccadilly ‘ruff’ that wraps around its perimeter. Details within the perforated white frieze are revealed and hidden again depending on the viewing angle and the time of day. This is achieved through imaginative use of the latest lighting control systems that enable colour research on real sky tonal transitions to bring the subtle changes of the British seasons to life outside to this indoor space. As each new sun rises outside, a custom set of colour gradients wash across the sculptures myriad of surfaces, creating a unique progression of light each day of the year, that then transitions to a night setting in time with the setting sun outside.
Using close to 200 of the latest Intellihue products from Philips Colour Kinetics and DMX control gear from Pharos custom colour washes were created across the textured frieze and dome surface behind, the use of front and rear lighting to create movement and depth.
The central oculus feature includes 100 custom built fittings and optics by Haberdashery and RGBW wash lighting units by Vexica. The light sculpture runs on an evolving real-time 24 hour sequence and through a touch screen allows viewers to call up shorter dynamic scenes to watch the feature come to life. By pushing the capabilities of the lighting control system a truly ambitious example of how to infuse the language of colour from the real world into an architectural environment was possible, in order to create a strong emotional connection with the audience.
Additional lighting expression in the form of textured, animated white light spreads out from a central ‘oculus’ feature, adding a range of energetic identities to the surface of the dome. The Oculus itself has a polished convex mirror surface that reflects the atrium below and the viewer, allowing both to become part of the sculpture themselves. Amarathyne is an example of Haberdashery Studio’s passions; expressive, human-centric lighting language, carefully researched narrative journeys, and elegant engineering that allows the sculpture to integrate with challenging, ambitious architecture.
Commissioned by: British Land for Clarges Mayfair
Project architects: Squire and Partners
Interior design: Martin Kemp Design
Technology partner: Architainment