In 2023, Timișoara was the European Capital of Culture. The program had several main components, including “Breathing Spaces” – related to city spaces, questioning the urban future and urban regeneration. One of the main interventions was The Nursery. 1306 plants for Timisoara (MAIO + Nomadic Studio + Studio Peisaj)– a temporary installation placed in the main city square, a pedestrian place with the greatest symbolic importance. The modular steel structure housed a plant nursery, generating new possibilities for using, imagining, and perceiving the familiar public space. Considering the redesign and modernization of this square that will take place in the near future, the installation sought to spark fresh discussions about the uses and day-night temporalities of the city. At the end of its temporal life-cycle, after hosting them, the intervention will provide new trees and plants to be planted around the city—according to the citizens’ demands for new green spaces, following the principle of full reuse of resources.

The project – carried out by Romanian Order of Architects – Timiș Territorial Branch together with MAIO Architects from Barcelona was spectacular and became one of the symbols of the European Capital, an iconic urban object. The aim of an intervention was to provoke a dialogue about how the inhabitants of the city connect visually, symbolically or physically to a landmark space, how they can contribute to cultivating and accentuating the urban identity and how to re-value the shared space.

During its cycle of life, between February and November 2023, The Nursery hosted a diverse series of events. LEDSCONTROL was invited to develop a temporary lighting installation for the closing event, marking the ending of the project and underlying the circularity of the project.

The installation “VIU. A celebration of life” was in place between 28th october and 6th November and consisted of an atmospheric intervention to be experienced both from the inside of the tower, immersed in veils of changing lights, and from the main city square, seen as a glowing living object with fresh colours, contrasting the sea of yellow sodium lights. VIU means “alive” both in Catalan and Romanian, this being a Romanian-Catalan collaboration.

The nursery offered the privilege of witnessing the transformative power of a living landscape. In the first months the visible part was the rhythmic metallic structure, then in late spring the green leaves took over, the flowers bloomed in the summer and in the autumn the green turned yellow and the leaves were blown by the wind.

The lighting installation was installed in a moment when vegetation started to lose its impressive aspect, when the veils of leaves could be substituted by a veil of light, moved by the wind, but muted, caressing the passer-by.

The lighting installation took life inspired by the Nursery’s scaffolding structure, a dynamic interplay of colours and patterns transformed the Nursery every night, reflecting the growth and adaptability we observe in nature and within ourselves.

The concept explored the ever-changing interplay between nature and humanity through a captivating light show comprising 23 scenes grouped into three acts.
Act 1, “Sunset Sunrise,” was inspired by the rhythms of our circadian clock, transitioning from soothing tones that gently rouse us from slumber to dynamic pulses as the day breaks.

Act 2, “Life’s Vibrancy,” employed a vivid spectrum of raw colours, predominantly greens, blues, and yellows, to evoke growth, movement, and the ongoing evolution of life.

Act 3, “Transcendence,” came to life with a shimmering display of lights, shadows, heartbeats, and fleeting darkness, symbolising the shift from autumn to winter, life to death, and rebirth into a new cycle.

LEDSCONTROL is a creative studio based in Barcelona, specialising in dynamic lighting design and media architecture curation.


Client & Organiser: Romanian Order of Architects, Timis Territorial branch
Lighting concept and lighting programming: LEDSCONTROL
LEDSCONTROL Team: Rebeca Sánchez Pastor, Abigail Nava, Nayan Lleonart, Robert Miculas, Xavier Cortés Aguilera, Txaber Pico and Andrea Blanco
Electrical installations: Lucian Pană, Harald Weisz
Project Coordination: Alexandra Maier, Anca Teslevici
Project team: Anca Teslevici, Alexandra Trofin, Ema Cristescu, Georgiana Spiridon, Alexandru Naghiu, Miruna Bărăitaru

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