The Helix is a new interactive light and sound art installation and creative space that has become part of the wider cultural programme at White City Place, London.

At the heart of the public realm, during a global pandemic, The Helix concept was devised by White City Place to bring their community together as a way of escapism during these difficult times.

As a multidisciplinary engineering company specialising in architectural lighting, Studiotech undertook the project from concept right through to completion in the space of just 5 weeks.

Directly inspired by the structural spiral-like form of a DNA helix, the concept of the sculpture draws inspiration from the pioneering work undertaken by White City Place’s Life Sciences occupiers.

Our design team worked hard to ensure that The Helix is not only DDA approved but also COVID compliant. Studiotech wanted the structure to be an inclusive space to allow for all to immerse themselves in the magic of light and sound.

Once the concept was agreed, our engineering specialists developed a suite of engineering drawings, and working with one of our trusted fabrication partners, Studiotech supplied the sculpture’s frame which is constructed from a mix of recycled aluminium & steel and measures 2.8 metres tall and 12 metres long.

Also responsible for the full provision of light and sound equipment, Studiotech supplied and installed linear lengths of RGBW pixel addressable LED, controllable every 100mm to allow for over 1500 individually controllable pixels. This allowed our programmers to develop content that could combine both understated and dynamic effects to suit the particular scene.

The inclusion of a full sound system allows for the combination of both sound and light creating a truly dramatic sensory experience. The lighting has been programmed around pieces of music allowing the two to work together creating a beautifully coordinated scene.

In terms of the data protocols, the LED was controlled by a combination of DMX and SPI technology which allows the rapid movement of the LED pixels. The lighting is controlled both automatically and also, through the use of infrared cameras that trigger the lighting once the break beam is broken.

Once on site, our three person installation team worked tirelessly to complete the installation in just one week – lots of early mornings and late nights were part of the construction phase. This was made simpler due to each section having been precision laser cut and fabricated to slot together comparable to ‘Meccano’ by one of our install engineers, each part of the sculpture was pieced together to form the spectacular rotating helix shape and illuminated ready for the next phase of the project.

The Helix demonstrates Studiotech’s eclectic range of skill sets, our knowledge of light & fabrication combined with inhouse programming expertise, the sculpture not only fulfils the clients brief but also showcases everything that Studiotech represents as a company.

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