Commissioned by Southwark Council under the ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’ (LET) Programme, as part of the Cross-River Partnership, the general brief was to transform a dark tunnel into a bright and interesting route for people to walk through and enjoy. It was important to Southwark Council that the tunnel brick work should still be seen, however local residents should not be affected by the lights or late-night revellers. As such, the design had to convey the concept of a ‘diversion’ rather than an attention grabber.
Using the Lightbox @ Fire Nightclub as an inspiration for the design, we attached 9,600 led nodes to a galvanised steel mesh framework. The mesh was then attached to the arch using 50,000 cable ties to cover 135 sqm are, 7 meters in the air. The installation took place over 6 weeks and involved 6 engineers. We then programmed the mesh, using several 5-minute sequences to create a fireworks effect which increased intensity at busier times of the day.
In addition to the LED installation, we also improved pedestrian lighting along the footway by placing some Powercore downlighters. This was used both for aesthetic lighting during the day and functional lighting in the hours of darkness.
To our knowledge this is the first installation of its kind in the UK. The primary challenges were working with the old brick work, which still had to be visible despite the mesh, and make sure everything was geometrically aligned despite the curved nature of the tunnel.