Lighting the City: Beyond Neon

This city was once known for its fabulous display of neon lit streets. While those days won’t come back, we may be entering a new era of innovative and attention grabbing lighting.

This computerized lighting installation extends 120 metres up the concrete face of the west tower of West Pender Place. Image courtesy Peak Communicators

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – There’s a colourful new display lighting up the Vancouver skyline, and it’s being billed as the city’s largest lighting feature. The computerized lighting installation extends 120 metres up the concrete face of the west tower of a posh new Coal Harbour condo development called West Pender Place, and 30 metres up the east building.

Dutch lighting artist Tamar Frank was selected to create the unique work by a jury in an international competition. Developer Reliance Properties spent its entire $400,000 budget for public art – a budget required by the city – on the two vertical columns of light.

“I work a lot with architecture and light and public places and public environments,” explains Frank, who used over 600 light-emitting diodes – or LED lights – to complete the installation. “This is my biggest commission to date, so for me it’s really exciting.”

The lighting feature took two years to design and implement, and the lights are expected to glow at full brightness for 10 years. Frank designed 40 different pre-set colour combinations to ensure the lighting design changes gradually several times an hour. Though it will stay on day and night, she says the best time to see it this time of year is after 9:30 p.m.

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