From Friday 6th March pedestrians using the King’s Cross tunnel will be greeted by HALFLIFE, an immersive, durational light installation created by award winning design practice Speirs + Major.
Delivered in association with the King’s Cross Central Partnership, HALFLIFE is a sitespecific work using the medium of light to synthesize a digital journey through light and colour.
Creating an experiential and dynamic adjunct to the moving traffic that inhabits the space on a daily basis – an evolutionary experience where no one moment is ever the same.
HALFLIFE is built upon a construct of digital, ordered cycles building from light to dark and beginning with bold, dramatic steps gradually becoming calmer until they dissolve ghost like – leaving just a trace of the light that has been – before the sequence resets itself to reveal an altogether new cycle.
The installation forms around British physicist Ernest Rutherford’s principal of decay, ‘Half-life (t1⁄2)’. The concept being that visitors may witness the changing cycles of growth and deterioration through light and colour.
Within the tunnel’s 90m-glazed wall are concealed 180 sources that work together to create a rich palette of animated colour. Through the intricate programming of each individual light source, sequences have been developed, from which the narrative of the piece grows organically. Each of the sources consists of five individual elements: red, green and blue light, complemented by warm and cool white. These then are carefully blended together to create a wide variety of hues, tones and saturations.
Whilst, the juxtapositions of light and dark, order and chaos, past and present, peaceful and energetic are possible to observe in one viewing, the gradual evolution of hue and saturation are only recognisable across the piece’s entire duration, creating a new experience on each journey and even each footstep.
Keith Bradshaw, Principal at Speirs + Major said: ‘We have designed HALFLIFE so that no two moments in the tunnel will be experienced the same. Each visitor will have their own perception of time and distance, immersed in light, dark and colour’.
Speirs + Major is an award winning design practice that uses light to enhance the experience of the visual environment. Their work is wide-ranging in terms of type and scale and encompasses architecture, strategic branding and innovative product design.
They have been credited with helping to raise awareness of the lighting design profession globally. Today they employ 38 people drawn from disciplines including architecture, art, interior design, lighting, graphic design and theatre. Their studios are based in London and Edinburgh, UK.
HALFLIFE is available to view daily from 6th March 2015, 6:30 am to 20:30 pm