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Tower of LIght

Prize(s) Winners in Light Art Project
Company SEAM Design
Lead Designers Emory Smith
Other Designer's names Revan Li
Architecture Company Tonkin Liu
Client Manchester City Council (local authority) + Vital Energi (energy centre operator)
Photo Credits David Valinsky
Completion Date 2022
Project Location Manchester, UK
Company Link View
Entry Description

The tower marks the Manchester’s commitment to provide sustainable energy to the Civic Quarter .

At street level, the Wall of Energy, clad in bespoke white-ceramic tiles. To camouflage a dispersion, the structure deploys Tonkin Liu’s and ARUP’s 12 shell-lace structure, a single-surface structure that stands 6mm thick and 40-metre tall.

At the tower’s base, façade lights are positioned to accentuate the undulation of exterior surface; the interior surface of the tower is washed with a series of spotlights aimed on the bias, maximising vertical distribution by using the diagonal between undulations while highlighting the shell’s perforation. The reflective surface of the central flues amplifies the effect of dappled light while sustaining the lightweight, pristine impression of the tower from day into the night.

The Wall of Energy is illuminated by a series of in-ground uplights with elliptical beams angled to light the facade uniformly. On the interior, RGBW spotlights highlight various pieces of industrial machinery like actors on a stage.

With full DMX control integration, the system offers a simple integration into district-wide lighting scenes as well as supporting showtime capability for events.

The everyday lighting program provides an animated sequence that gradually transitions from early evening to late night with intermittent displays of dynamic colour.
Company Description

With commissions in 30 countries, SEAM is an independent architectural lighting design practice led by Marci Song and Emory Smith – each offering 20+ years’ global lighting and architecture experience. As architectural designers who specialise in light, SEAM expertly integrates lighting into the architectural vision and service, having supported Buro: Ole Scheeren, Waugh Thistleton Architects and many others to develop buildings and built environments on five continents. SEAM’s work uniquely brings together lighting, architecture and design, with the creation of memorable human experience.