Bristol’s Harbourside is a traditional docklands area that has benefitted from modernisation and redevelopment over recent years. Now with its attractive new structures and renovated old buildings, the whole neighbourhood has been re-energised with museums, galleries, shops, wine bars, pubs and restaurants. The district is also home to one of the UK’s biggest free festivals, The Bristol Harbour Festival.
LTP Integration, with lighting and visual environment consultants Speirs & Major and architects Faulkner Browns, were brought in as specialist lighting contractors to program and install a unique piece of interactive light and video art at the impressive Millennium Square in Bristol’s Harbourside quarter.
The huge, dynamic ‘Lightwall’ was conceived by Newcastle-based interactive designer and artist Tim Knowles. Measuring an impressive 50 metres wide by 12 metres tall, it runs along the side of two main buildings in the Millennium Square of the Harbourside development.
The wall comprises of 288 vertical node strings attached to a special support cage, which is affixed to the front of the building and encompasses a total of 10,000 individually controllable LED nodes. The strings are staggered with varying drops to achieve contrast.
To complement this direct-view feature, LED luminaires were installed to backlight the display with vibrant, contrasting colours.
Digital content providers Green Hippo, based in North London, were contracted to produce the custom mapping software and movement tracking system needed to make the lightwall interactive.
A video system manager was used to transmit video content from a media server via Ethernet directly to the LED nodes, each one acting as a controllable pixel. A movement tracking system and custom mapping software was used to 'interpret' the action of passers-by and relay the information to the media server, which in turn converts the data into RGB signals to be understood by the video system manager. The result is a series of dynamic light trails that travel across the wall.
LTP also worked directly with Green Hippo on the content delivery side of the project. The extensive mapping within the video system manager was a challenge, as it was creating a virtual world whilst tracking the real one.
LTP successfully completed the project, delivering a unique and effective light piece. Fulfilling the client’s specific brief, the interactive lightwall exceeded expectations, enhancing the already-impressive Millennium Square area.
“iColor Flex SL proved an ideal choice due to its inherent flexibility, as the product was required to accommodate the building’s contour.” - Keith Elms (Business Manager, LTP Integration)
- iColor® Flex SL
- ColorBlast® fixtures
- Color Kinetics’ video system manager
- Ethernet Controllable LED nodes
- Movement tracking system
- Custom mapping software