Projected Image Digital supplied and installed over 50 Element Labs VersaTUBE™ LED fittings for a specially commissioned light art feature in the new Dublin headquarters for British Telecommunications company 02.

All 850 members of 02’s staff have been moved to the impressive new building in Dublin’s redeveloped Docklands area, which was opened by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.

The lighting feature is installed next to the central spiral stairwell, which runs from the first to the fifth floors. Three 17.75m-high vertical lines of VersaTUBE, each 1m apart, run the full height of the void, disappearing into the ceiling.

Peter Pritchard of Pritchard Themis, a London-based architectural lighting design firm, designed the lighting feature. Pritchard’s design brief was to produce a “living” installation that was aesthetically pleasing, lively, interesting, adaptable, didn’t dominate the environment, and said something meaningful about the 02 brand. “It was a complex brief,” he admits, “but the versatility of [the VersaTUBE] made it really easy to achieve.”

The stairwell is a tight space linking all the office floors without any physical barriers. Pritchard’s design unifies the floors and creates the aura of an information stream going between the floors with the constantly moving content running up the tubes.

Pritchard worked closely with PID throughout the project. PID’s Rob Fowler and Dick Welland undertook the installation and commissioning of the work on site, for which they also had to complete an Irish Safe Pass course.

The tubes are fitted to the wall in a 20mm-deep recessed trench via customized brackets designed by PID, so they are flush to the surface for a neat finish.

The main on-site challenge, says Fowler, was overcoming the difficult access to the tight stairwell. For the initial part of the installation process, while the building was still very much a construction site, they took advantage of a large scaffolding tower running the height of the stairwell. However, this was gone when they returned six weeks later to hook the fixtures up to the power. So they rented a piece of truss and rigged it at the top of the stairwell, then hung off it at various points with fall arresters while they commissioned the tubes.

PID also specified the Element Labs C1 controller. For content, Pritchard outlined what he wanted, and Fowler developed and refined various video clips in Apple Motion. They came up with the standard “02 Wall”–a flowing data stream effect. He also created some custom content for use on occasions like Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s day. These are all stored as Quicktime movies on the C1, and will be integrated and triggered by the overall building controller.

The client is delighted with the result reports Pritchard, who says, “Working with PID was excellent. They were really meticulous and detailed in the installation and programming.”