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Speirs + Major unveils installation in Allies and Morrison's Kings Cross tunnel

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An installation by lighting designers Speirs + Major is set to open in Allies and Morrison’s Kings Cross tunnel later this week

The installation, entitled HALFLIFE, will use light to ‘synthesize a digital journey through light and colour’.

It features a series of cycles which move from light to dark, and begins with dramatic steps which gradually become calmer until they dissolve leaving just a trace of light behind.

Around 180 light sources have been concealed within the tunnel’s 90m-long glazed wall to create the installation.

The Allies and Morrison-designed underground tunnel, which opened in Smmer 2015, connects John McAslan and Partners’ King’s Cross Station to the north-east corner of David Chipperfield Architects’ One Pancras Square office building.

The installation will be open to view between 6:30am and 8:30pm from 6 March.

The designer’s view

‘The installation forms around British physicist Ernest Rutherford’s principal of decay, ‘Half-life (t1⁄2)’. The concept being that visitors may witness the changing cycles of growth and deterioration through light and colour.

‘Within the tunnel’s 90m-glazed wall are concealed 180 sources that work together to create a rich palette of animated colour. Through the intricate programming of each individual light source, sequences have been developed, from which the narrative of the piece grows organically. Each of the sources consists of five individual elements: red, green and blue light, complemented by warm and cool white. These then are carefully blended together to create a wide variety of hues, tones and saturations.

‘While, the juxtapositions of light and dark, order and chaos, past and present, peaceful and energetic are possible to observe in one viewing, the gradual evolution of hue and saturation are only recognisable across the piece’s entire duration, creating a new experience on each journey and even each footstep.’

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