Brick Lane Minaret

Cultural landmark  |  All-LED  |  DMX control  |  RGB colour change

Client

Tower Hamlets Council

Location

London, United Kingdom

Manufacturer

KKDC, Pharos, Philips

Architect

DGA Architects

The minaret-like sculpture stands proud beside the Grade II listed building in the vibrant community reflecting its surroundings and creating dynamism and sparkle.

Brick Lane has long been a vibrant mix of food, retail, communities, culture, and entertainment due to its being a place of many voices.  Many different influences have contributed their own unique character over the years.  In doing so, they have built up the diversity of the area.

This project was part of an £8m investment from the Bishop Square and Spitalfields development.  6 information boards along with a minaret-like sculpture formed key locations through the Tower Hamlets cultural trail.

At the start of the trail, LED panels backlight a stainless steel fret-cut monolith.  In contrast, on the reverse, a gentle LED graze highlights the etched information and history of the area.  The decorative totems, each with local narrative, lead visitors to the centre of Brick Lane.

At the heart of Brick Lane, a 29-metre high cylindrical sculpture stands proud beside the Grade II-listed mosque, like a jewel in the centre of a vibrant community.

LAPD worked closely with DGA architects in designing and integrating the lighting within the structure.  We ensured that we could achieve the desired lit effect while adhering to the strict guidance from the local authorities.

8 separate drums comprised the main body of the sculpture.  Each of these had a double layer of stainless steel skin.  The inner layer was highly polished and therefore reflected glimpses of its busy surroundings creating subtle dynamism.  The outer, brushed layer on top  detailed with an intricate fret-cut pattern.

These patterns allowed the integrated LED flood lighting to softly bleed indirectly through the sculpture.  Every viewpoint along Brick Lane grants views of the sculpture.  Furthermore, the intense point sources of colour changing LEDs are visible at certain angles adding an additional sparkle to the sculpture.

As part of the specification, there was full control of the entire installation due to each drum being individually addressable.  This made it a dynamic landmark, because on a day-to-day basis the light was static white, with the ability to colour change for special occasions.  Control was simple, via the control room housed towards the base of the structure or remotely via secure web access.

The minaret required detailed and considered design for the access to the light fixtures.  Each of the 160 narrow beam LED projectors were mounted to an access hatch that could be removed from within the split between the drums.  A plug and play cabling system and careful cable management further aided installation and future maintenance.

At the top of the 8 drums, a single mast with a bespoke crescent-shaped luminaire forms a beacon that is visible from afar within the community.