Aether & Hemera Studio was commissioned by Newcastle Council to deliver an interactive lighting feature for Harbottle Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. Working with the park's users and the local community they designed a landmark that reflects residents' aspiration for the park. The core idea was to create a welcoming gateway that emphasizes its relations with people and surrounding environment through dynamic LED lights animating the space.
The result is Lighting Clock, a Cor-ten landmark which incorporates the name of the park and that signals the exact time through coloured light impulses replacing the chimes in usual clock towers.
A custom antenna detects the atomic clock signal transmitted by the National Physical Laboratory and a custom hardware and bespoken DMX software translate it into colour lighting scenography every 15 minutes, using Philips Color Kinetics RGB high-powered LEDs. A connection to the genius loci and local historical context is provided taking inspiration from the neighbouring former Maling pottery, where a clock tower used to indicate the time to local residents.
Lighting Clock represents an extremely attractive landmark from the distance and makes the park exciting and secure at night, encouraging visitors to linger nearby. This coloured lighting feature not only improves the appearance of Harbottle Park's entrance but positively alters public perceptions of it. Thanks to Aether & Hemera's lighting artwork the site could reflect a place to be experienced and the surrounding area becomes a lively, safe and colourful environment.