Chang­ing Weather, Chang­ing Hues

Melbourne Official Visitor Guide - - Arts & Culture -

At 888 Collins, Mel­bourne's weather in­flu­ences the ap­pear­ance of the build­ing's fa­cade to cre­ate an epic, ever-chang­ing art­work.

Take a stroll around the

Dock­lands af­ter dark and you may no­tice a lu­mi­nous new­comer. The fa­cade of the 15-storey res­i­den­tial build­ing 888 Collins, lo­cated on the corner of Bourke and Collins streets, is cov­ered by 58,000 LED lights em­bed­ded into 35 full-height ver­ti­cal fins flank­ing the tri­an­gu­lar build­ing.

Af­ter dusk each day, a five-minute in­ter­pre­ta­tive dis­play of the next day’s weather is per­formed in lights ev­ery hour on the hour un­til mid­night. A weather sta­tion on the roof of the build­ing links to the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy’s weather feed, tak­ing data to cre­ate pat­terns of colour that re­flect real-time con­di­tions and a more artis­tic in­ter­pre­ta­tion of how the weather ‘feels’. “Mel­bourne is known for its tem­pes­tu­ous and change­able weather,” ex­plains artist Bruce Ra­mus, who worked with de­vel­oper Lendlease to for­mu­late the dis­play, ti­tled Light House. “We wanted to cre­ate an in­stal­la­tion that would re­flect the en­vi­ron­ment and beauty of the area, but also re­flect some soft­ness that al­lows peo­ple to con­nect with the space around them.”

A puls­ing red light across the top of the build­ing in­di­cates a fore­cast is about to be­gin, then the weather el­e­ments are shown. The back­ground colour rep­re­sents the tem­per­a­ture be­ing fore­cast for the next day, fol­lowed by rel­e­vant weather con­di­tions. It won’t re­place the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy web­site, but it does of­fer vis­i­tors to the Dock­lands a vis­ually strik­ing at­trac­tion that can be seen from as far away as the Bolte Bridge.

“My role as an artist in this in­stance was to re­flect the en­vi­ron­ment and the peo­ple who live there,” says Ra­mus. “We wanted to make it gen­tle. It is an art­work, not a bill­board. I really enjoy see­ing peo­ple’s faces when they see it light up for the first time.” vic­to­ri­a­har­ light­house ra­

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