Bridge of Aspiration – UK
Location: Royal Ballet School, London, UK
Lighting design Speirs + Major
Photography © Nick Wood
Products Bespoke LED Solution
Connecting the Royal Ballet School to the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, Wilkinson Eyre’s bridge is a dynamic and dramatic structure. Based around 23 square aluminium frames, it twists in a series of 3.91 degree steps, rotating through a full 90 degrees from one end to the other. The idea was to simply and graphically “draw” this series of twists with light. This manifested itself in a series of L- shaped glowing elements integrated into the corners of the frames.
The role of the lighting was to capture and complement this sinuous form, becoming one with the structure. The emphasis was also on the users of the bridge; the dancers who would cross it. Rather than providing a lighting scheme to be seen from the street, the planning authority wanted the bridge to be understated rather than a bright element after dark.
The only position to mount any light source was within the aluminium frames of the bridge, to graphically draw the twists of the bridge using custom made fixtures. acdc worked with Speirs & Major to design a series of ‘L’ shaped luminaires made from pieces of acrylic, with a 1 Watt Luxeon LED mounted in each end. Similar principles to fibre optic were then employed, shining the light along the sandblasted acrylic, picking up the light and creating an evenly glowing light bar. This detail could not have been created with any other light source, for reasons of space and heat.
The client was incredibly happy with the design solution, and the project still looks as good today, as it did when it was first installed in 2003.
• Award of Excellence
• IALD Awards
• 2005 Best Public Space Lighting Scheme
• FX International Design Awards
• Civic Trust Awards 2004
• 2003 Lighting Design