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30/01/2006

VersaTUBES for 02 Dublin HQ

Digital media solutions specialist, Projected Image Digital, has supplied and installed over 50 Element Labs VERSA Tube LED fittings for a stunning, specially commissioned piece of light art in 02’s new Irish headquarters in Dublin.
All 850 of 02’s staff have been moved to the impressive new building in Dublin’s redeveloped Docklands area, which was opened by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.
The lighting feature is installed beside the central spiral stairwell leading from the first to the fifth floors. It consists of three elegant 17.75 metre high vertical lines of VersaTUBE, each one metre apart, running the full height of the void, disappearing into the ceiling.
The feature was designed by Peter Pritchard of Pritchard Themis, a central London based architectural lighting design practice.
Pritchard had seen the product shortly after its launch at PLASA 2004. He contacted Projected Image Digital when the 02 project was confirmed, where his brief was to produce a 'living’ installation that was aesthetically pleasing, lively, interesting, adaptable, and something that didn’t dominate the environment and said something meaningful about the 02 brand.
The stairwell is a tight space linking all the office floors without any physical barriers. The idea was to unify them, and to create the aura of an ‘information stream’ going between the floors with the constantly moving content running up the tubes.
It was the first time that Pritchard has worked with VERSA Tubes. PID initially took a quantity of units to the Pritchard Themis offices in Marble Arch, and set up a demo showing the potential effects of running various different content through the tubes.
Pritchard worked closely with PID throughout the project. PID’s Rob Fowler and Dick Welland undertook the installation and commissioning of the work on site, for which they also had to complete an Irish ‘Safe Pass’ course.
The tubes are fitted to the wall in a 20mm deep recessed trench via customised brackets designed by PID, so they are flush to the surface for a very neat finish.
Fowler and Welland plus one other person worked 24 hours non-stop to get the tubes inserted and fixed into the trenches.
The main on-site challenge was overcoming the difficult access. For the initial part of the installation process, while the building was still very much a construction site, they took advantage of a large scaffolding tower running the height of the stairwell. However they knew this would be gone when they returned six weeks later to hook the fixtures up to the power.
This left the stairwell, which wasn’t quite close enough to afford access to the tubes, whilst the overall space was too tight to insert a tower. Thinking laterally, they rented in a piece of truss and rigged it at the top of the stairwell, then hung off it at various points with fall arresters while they commissioned the tubes. Every tube fired up first time when the power was turned on.
(CD)

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