Oxford Landmarks in a New Light
Posted: 22 September 2017
On 29th September Oxford is the focus for the third Night of Heritage Light: six of the University’s most recognised buildings will be the subject of creative and dramatic lighting designs in a stunning display by the Society of Light and Lighting.
The concept involves teams of volunteer lighting designers lending their technical and artistic skills to demonstrate the creative as well as technical possibilities in the field of lighting. Buildings being given the light treatment include the Radcliffe Camera and the Museum of the History of Science– buildings that are not ordinarily lit. The result will demonstrate the impact of lighting on architecture, transforming the shadowy presence of buildings in the dark into assertive and vibrant icons.
Night of Heritage Light, Oxford, takes place three years after the first NoHL gained national attention for its ambitious project lighting nine World Heritage Sites. The overall objective is to bring the expertise of lighting designers to public attention and this year, for the second time, the project also includes the Pockets of Light programme to involve schools.
Students from the City of Oxford College, St Gregory the Great secondary school and North Kidlington primary school, were challenged to come up with their own lighting designs for the quad of the Bodleian Library and the winning designs will also realised by a team of lighting experts alongside the NoHL.
NOHL will be taking place alongside the Oxford Curiosity Carnival. The Curiosity Carnival gives members of the public a chance to find out what research is all about, meet researchers, ask questions and discover how research affects and changes our lives. Oxford’s Curiosity Carnival 2017 will join hundreds of other European cities in celebration European Researcher’s Night.
Richard Caple, President of the SLL, said: “The Night of Heritage Light has become a fixture in the Society’s calendar as a celebration of what our work is all about, the art and science of light, and this year’s plans are some of the most exciting we’ve seen so far.
“We will be showing a new side to some of the UK’s most iconic buildings on the Oxford University campus, allowing the public to see them in a new way, and really showing off the power of light to change how we see the world around us. We’ll also see some top lighting designers showing off their best work, which I hope will show people what our profession is all about.”
The event will prominently feature local lighting companies and designers including DPA, Hoare Lea and LuxPopuli, as well as design themes focussed around the history and function of the buildings that are to be featured.
The third NoHL follows the first event held around the UK in 2015, which saw nine World Heritage Sites illuminated by teams of lighting designers. Locations including Durdle Door on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire, and the Tower of London had typically unlit areas illuminated for one night only. The second event, held in 2016, saw locations across York lit during the Illuminate York festival including St Michael le Belfrey and the Multangular Tower.
Combining their love of light and art, design teams will showcase the practical applications of lighting and how it can improve and enhance architecture. NoHL also aims to inspire future generations of designers with our STEM focussed ‘Pockets of Light’ schools competition, where we help children learn and discover in a practical way how light works and what we can create with light.