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Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Kinetic Light Sculpture of the Zeilgalerie

  • On July 21, 2005

Kinetic Light Sculpture of the Zeilgalerie is a permanent installation on the facade of the Zeilgalerie in Frankfurt and was finished along with the building in September 1992.

interactive architecture

During the day, the perforated surface of the sheet metal, which is in front of the blue facade of the building, remains grey and reserved and only oscillates through the play of daylight. When dusk begins to fall, however, it transforms itself into blue-yellow floating figures, which change colors like a chameleon depending on their surroundings, the prevailing weather conditions.

interactive architecture 0 degree centigrade 8 degree centigrade 18 degree centigrade

Three groups of lights – a total number of 120 HQI spots – shine from the inside and outside on to the perforated sheet-metal surface in front of the building’s wall. They beam upwards and downwards through the surface with a varying degree of yellow. Temperature, wind, and rain both act as a constant function of time and are the parameters of the light sculpture, which changes in real time.

The overall image is directed by a computer terminal and a weather station on top of the building: the ambient temperature (variables: 0-30 degrees Centigrade) determines the amount of yellow on the blue wall. The yellow patches move in line with the direction of the wind from left to right or vice versa. Wind speed governs how fast they move over the surface. Rain substitutes for wind and causes patches of yellow to fall vertically.

The upper area of the facade is crossed horizontally by the wide, rapidly changing line graphic (LED-Display 4m x 20m) that visualizes the degree of noise made by the passers-by in real-time.

interactive architecture


  1. riqui

    Very cool light forms. How often do they turn yellowish?

  2. cjenkins

    this is the a neet new way that we play with light …how about exploration into the ways that light plays with us???oh well

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