Changing Weather, Changing Hues
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.” victoriaharbour.com.au/ lighthouse lendlease.com ramus.com.au