As part of London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics, E\T\C UK illuminated London’s Wellington Arch with the image of an Olympic hurdler traversing Tower Bridge. The projected image marked the launch event of the publication of "Capital Spaces: Transforming London," published by English Heritage and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), a call to action to ensure London is fit for the spotlight of world attention in 2012.
The event on February 8 preceded the International Olympic Committee’s visit to London this week to assess the UK’s bid to stage the 2012 Olympiad.
This was not the first time E\T\C UK has projected onto Wellington Arch–one of London’s best known landmarks. Past experiences of illuminating the Arch have seen E\T\C UK mastering the art of working on this challenging site. The "Capital Spaces" launch event followed their stunning New Year’s Eve projections onto the Shell Building.
Two PIGI 6kW projectors were used for the event–one illuminating each side of the arch, housed in small pop-up tents for full weather protection. The projectors were programmed and controlled by Karen Monid using a PIGI OnlyCue system and teched by Michael Barry. The E\T\C crew worked closely with English Heritage’s event manger Lucie Carayon.
English Heritage supplied the image, the logos, and the strap line to E\T\C’s Ross Ashton, who formatted them into PIGI artwork–one composite single slide per projector. Ashton also created precise "architectural masking" to ensure that projected light emitted from the PIGIs tightly hugged the contours of the Arch, eliminating any spillage. This also avoided any potential health and safety risks regarding the projection of large light sources on a traffic island site, which is passed by tens of thousands of motorists and commercial vehicles each night.
The projections ran all evening as the event was staged in the reception rooms inside the Arch. The bright, crisp image also appeared prominently as a location backdrop for news bulletins on ITV London and BBC News 24. The high-impact visuals drew media attention to English Heritage and RIBA’s publication as it was featured in the London Evening Standard.
"The opportunity to convey our message ‘London’s Heritage is a Winner’ through such a powerful and high-impact visual medium was one that we felt we could not miss," the English Heritage team said in a statement. "We were delighted to…emphasize the importance of the historic environment to London’s 2012 Olympic bid just a week before the arrival of the International Olympic Committee."
Wellington Arch was designed by Decimus Burton, and originally erected in 1828 as a memorial to Sir Arthur Wellsley, 1st Duke of Wellington, soldier and Prime Minister.