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Peter Smith lights up doomed Glasgow blocks

Architect Peter Smith has designed Multicolours, a lighting project celebrating Glasgow’s residential tower blocks, more than 50 of which are due for demolition in the next decade.

For two weeks in January, the east facade of the largest of the Red Road blocks in north-east Glasgow will be illuminated to create a giant, multimedia screen.

Designed by Sam Bunton and Associates for Glasgow Corporation in 1962 and completed in 1971, the Red Road complex of eight 31-storey towers is scheduled to be demolished next year.

‘The changing light will re-inhabit each room and bring the flats to life once more, before they disappear forever,’ says Smith, who is collaborating with lighting designer Nich Smith on the project.

Lamps composed of 52 RGB LEDs will be placed in all 690 east-facing rooms and pointed towards the windows. Each cluster will be controlled by computer to combine varying amounts of red, green and blue light. This will produce a full colour spectrum (above).

Multimedia software e:cue will process signals, such as radio waves and sound, and relay them from an on-site control room to the lamps via CAT 5 DMX cables to create a striking display of patterns, text and images on the facade.

For more information, visit www.multicolours.co.uk and see Peter Smith’s Glasgow lighting project Highlights 2004 below.

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