mondo arc magazine features - 11 Soho Street Lantern

mondo arc magazine features - 11 Soho Street Lantern
mondo arc magazine features - 11 Soho Street Lantern
article from mondo arc (issue 96 Feb/March 2017)

11 Soho/60 Oxford Street Lantern – see the intricate lighting sequences that breathe life into this prominent glass lantern.


StudioFractal Lighting Design has created a bespoke Sky Lantern light feature for the 11 Soho/61 Oxford Street project in London. Architect AHMM’s design inspiration for the building façade was the 1937 Aalto vase ‐ a design classic. The proportions of the building were based on the footprint required and the double-height ground floor retail unit (leased by ZARA as their new HQ) was based on the history of retail landmark stores on Oxford Street. The previous building on the site, whilst not of distinction, possessed a corner tower of architectural interest. AHMM wanted to recreate this feature with a new corner of architectural merit and sought out lighting designers StudioFractal to create a bespoke lighting installation which would add a sophisticated night‐time presence to the project. Drawing inspiration from the undulating façade and the changing seasons, StudioFractal devised a lightweight colour-changing LED feature within the three-storey void at the corner of Oxford Street and Soho Street. Based on the changing colours seen in nature, a series of programmes were devised with abstract patterns, colours and sequences. Scale models and on‐site mock‐ups were used to confirm design details and initial programming – with AHMM the internal surfaces of the Lantern were altered to help create optimum internal reflections. StudioFractal designed a space frame housing 2,590 LEDs and associated cabling, installed to follow the undulating glazed façade. All controls are housed within the lantern and run from an automatic timeclock – with the facility for manual control at the ground level reception. 

Working from the design drawings created by StudioFractal, Architainment’s Technical Services team mapped 2,759 RGB nodes (8,277 channels of control). This was a particularly complex process, since the node design wraps around the lantern structure and is in effect three dimensional. Architainment engineers and StudioFractal designers commissioned the solution into operation, and programmed all the timelines and triggers. Attracting attention with its hypnotic colour variations, Westminster Council, British Airways Trustees and AHMM are delighted with the installation – and additional programming sequences have now been commissioned.

For complete article (pg 36) and publication - mondo arc issue 96