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888 Collins St lights up

28 Apr 2015

888 Collins St lights up Image

By Kara Bertoncini

Docklands will become home to a world-first lighting design when Victoria Harbour’s 888 Collins St is completed.

Currently under construction at the corner of Collins and Bourke Streets, a dramatic lighting feature inspired by Melbourne’s own weather patterns will illuminate the building’s façade.

The lighting design is the expression of Canadian-born designer Bruce Ramus and will feature 35 vertical beams of LED light.

Apart from its aesthetic appeal, in the evening the lighting installation will interpret and display an abstract weather forecast every half hour, as well as interpreting the current weather in real-time.

“On the roof of the building is a weather station and a connection to the Bureau of Meteorology,” Mr Ramus said.

“The goal is to reflect how the weather feels, and represent that with movement, colour and patterns.”

Maintaining a balance between creative and technical processes allows data readings to be recognised in various artistic forms.

“It has a really wide range of expression which is not literal; it is figurative. People can bring their own interpretation to it,” he said.

The world-first project will be environmentally friendly and sustainable, as it will be run by solar power.

“The lights themselves have a life span of approximately 100,000 hours which equates to about 30 years of use, and it’s powered by solar panels, so it is very sustainable,” Mr Ramus said.

While this lighting innovation has never been used before, all design steps are being taken to ensure it is a low maintenance project.

“This is really meant as a unique expression of what was to me both a historical opportunity where Bourke and Collins Streets finally meet, and a playful response to Melburnians’ obsession with the weather.”

“It’s really about the community having a point of connection to the architecture of their community and understand that it reflects them and their environment,” Mr Ramus said.

888 Collins St is a Lend Lease development designed by Australian architectural firm Woods Bagot.

It is scheduled for completion in early 2017.

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