Architectural lighting company i-Vision has completed a stunning lighting design and supplied all necessary instruments and fixtures for the permanent illumination of Merseyside Police Authority's (MPA) headquarters in central Liverpool.

i-Vision was approached for the project, part of the ongoing scheme to light landmark buildings in the City of Liverpool, by Tony Woof, chief executive of the Liverpool Architecture and Design Trust (LADT). i-Vision's brief was to produce an interesting and cost-effective design to transform this somewhat imposing-looking building into an attractive, integrated element of the urban landscape.

The Police HQ building is located near the city's Albert Dock, a trendy area of Liverpool nightlife. i-Vision designer Geoff Jones' lighting concept was to reduce its fortress-like appearance and fuse it into its surroundings, to soften the hard lines and give it a more modern and stylish look, making the general area feel more welcoming, comfortable, and inviting for people to walk and pass through.

Jones's lighting design took a clean, uncomplicated approach. He split the lighting into three distinct areas--a blue wash of the building's main elevation, a green wash to illuminate the walkway and proposed garden area for the front of the building, and a "Thin Blue Line" effect--glowing blue light delineating the building form.

Eight Marlanvil J800 asymmetric flood fixtures are fitted to the building 4m (13') off the ground to create the blue wash over the main structure, seven Marlanvil N400 symmetric fixtures are installed below the J800s, casting a green wash along the walkway and the tree area at the front of the building, and 14 Meyer 5º 150W narrow-beam compact spots highlight the pillars of the building, breaking up its slab-like appearance.

The Thin Blue Line is encased in a custom aluminum extrusion that runs a total of 155m (510') around the top of the building. i-Vision specially fabricated the extrusion and brackets and fed blue Duralite rope light into the extrusion. The overall effect produces a soft outline for the bulky structure--the metal casing being visible during the day, and the blue line emerging in the evening as natural light levels drop. Control is low-maintenance: The building lighting is split into three zones, each controlled via a 365-day timer with a built-in light dependant resistor, giving the client hands-free operation.

So far, the scheme has proved a great hit with Merseyside Police and the public. Assistant chief constable Grahame Barker said, "Our headquarters building occupies a key city center location, and we have recognized that there are a number of specific improvements needed to enhance its accessibility and visibility. By extending the opening hours of the enquiry counter, and improving the exterior lighting and signage, we hope to provide a better service in a key central location for residents and visitors alike."