There are plenty of beautiful urban regeneration projects around the world that achieve their aims just splendidly (for example, my attempt to regenerate a very drab looking concrete back-yard by adding a pot plant). But let’s pull focus on scale because every now and then we come across a project that stands alone with its awe-inspiring ability to evoke emotional responses within us; it will amaze, excite and stun us with its vision and ambition.
And so it is with Silo 468 designed by Tapio Rosenius of The Lighting Design Collective based in Madrid. Just by browsing the visuals, Silo 468 refuses to be placed in the ‘just another’ category, rather, it draws you into its world of environmentally interactive swarm illuminations, set around and within a vast disused oil silo in Helsinki, Finland.
It was converted by installing 1250 white LEDs that flicker and sway on the surface with movable steel mirrors which respond to Helsinki’s prevailing winds, triggering the different and endlessly variable light patterns in real time. Tapio Rosenius aimed to create a sense of enduring fascination by fusing the complex movements of nature and light with a specific location so as to be captivating for visitors and residents of Helsinki alike. There’s no doubting these aims have been fulfilled – I’ll never look at my pot plant with the same love.