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Neuron Pod

Prize(s) Winners in Community Building Lighting
Company Sutton Vane Associates
Lead Designers Mark Sutton Vane & Julie O’Reilly
Completion Date Feb 2016 to March 2019
Project Location Queen Mary University of London, Newark St, Whitechapel, London E1 2JJ, U.K.
Entry Description
The Neuron Pod is an addition to the world famous Centre of the Cell Education and Research unit at Queen Mary University of London. They wanted edgy and exciting architecture and lighting. This educational and lecturing pod looks like a living organism. All internal and external lighting is designed by Sutton Vane Associates. The outside is covered in flexible hair-like dendrites that sway and move in the wind. The dendrites dim up and down and gently change colours in slow ripples that mirror their rippling movement from the wind and show the activity inside the pod. To make replacement and maintenance easy and to make them safe, the dendrites are lit by remote fibre optic light sources.

The dendrites start deliberately a bit high up the structure so they are out of reach of naughty students who might try and play with them.

The space can be used for a variety of events: lectures, films, workshops, experiments and even exams. The internal lighting is flexible enough to accommodate all these uses. There is dimmable white down lighting for working and RGBW up lighting for creating atmospheres for events.

The dramatic lighting has raised the profile of the university.
Company Description
Sutton Vane Associates was founded in 1995 by Mark Sutton Vane.

The practice specialises in lighting challenging projects. Completed schemes include the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London and many historic and modern museums, exhibitions, retail projects, hotels, castles, cathedrals and houses.

Sutton Vane Associates has won many awards and was the Lighting Design Practice of the Year. Mark’s lighting of the London Olympic park was so successful that he has been appointed the Learning Ambassador for Lighting.

The practice has completed projects all over the world.