Artin were appointed as the creative lighting design consultants on the Bloc which is located in Manchester, UK.

As part of the Artin brief, we were asked to design and develop a dynamic feature lighting installation to the vast living green wall façade, which wrapped around the existing entrance on the two main elevations of the buildings. The green wall structure has a combined length of 60m stretching across the two elevations, and 14m in maximum height, making this a significant living green wall structure.

From the outset Artin wanted to develop conceptual designs which combined the technology of dynamic light with the living green wall, creating a digital canvas of light which could completely change the dynamic of the green wall and the appearance of the building from day to night. Combining light art with the living green wall structure was imperative to the design, and the two needed to be detailed and connected to create a seamless synergy between the technology and living organisms.

The integration of the lighting system within the vertical green wall structure, had to be carefully developed, ensuring the physical design and components did not have an adverse effect on the planting, whilst also considering accessibility and ongoing maintenance of the living plants. The bespoke vertical lighting grid and wiring channel will be embedded into the green wall system, creating a mesh of digitally addressable RGB LED nodes. Each vertical channel was designed and set out in coordination with the vertical planting cassette system, which was based on 250m wide by 500mm high planting cassettes. Each planting cassette is affixed direct to the structural façade, and the vertical lighting channels were designed with bespoke 3D printed brackets, which combined the direct fixing methods of both the planting cassette and vertical lighting channels into one point.

Philips iColor Flex LMX modules were specified for the lighting component of the digital mesh. Each string of LED modules was integrated into vertical channel systems, providing both structural support and additional protection from ongoing planting maintenance.

Visually the embedded lighting mesh will allow the facade to create organic light movements which flow across the vast facade within the vertical planting system, transitioning from a living green wall by day into one of the worlds largest Living Digital Artwork by night.

Luke Artingstall, Directior of Artin, said “This is a hugely exciting project for Artin, particular as it’s a design and system which has never been delivered on a project of this scale. This is not just exciting for our client and Manchester; I believe it’s exciting on an international level as well.

We believe the Bloc Living Digital Artwork project has the capabilities of being beautiful, elegant and bold all at the same time, and arguable given the scale of the project and technology used, its potentially a unique installation on an international level which we cannot wait to share with Manchester and beyond”.

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