project edition: who's_afraid_of_RGB
Year of conception: 2007
Displayed from: 22.10.2007 - 15.12.2008

Commissioner: Dexia
Artists: LAb[au]
Copyright images: © Artists: LAb[au] - Architects: Philippe Samyn & Partners, M & J.M. Jaspers - J. Eyers & Partners - Lighting engineer: Barbara Hediger


The project takes part of an illumination series entitled 'Who's Afraid Of Red, Green and Blue' which LAb[au] conceived for Brussels 145 m high Dexia Tower and from which 4200 windows can be individually color-enlightened by RGB-led bars. The illumination cycle intended an artistic illumination of the tower to be displayed every night during one year.

The project displays tomorrow's temperature, cloudiness, precipitations, and wind, by using colors and geometrical patterns to display these real-time data provided by the RMI, Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium.

The main information is constituted by tomorrow's temperature which is compared to the monthly temperature average defining a value expressed by a color in which the tower is illuminated. The color scale is based on the common association between cold and warm colors to temperature, ranging from violet ( -6° or colder ), blue ( -4° ), cyan ( -2° ), green ( monthly average ), yellow ( 2° ), orange

( 4° ) to red ( 6° or warmer ). When for example tomorrow's temperature is two degrees higher than the monthly average then the tower color is 'yellow'.

Further tomorrow's cloudiness, showers (rain, snow, ice ...) and wind are displayed as geometric patterns covering the entire building's facades. These patterns are derived from a vector-field whereas the orientation of its vectors, each lightening up three windows, causes patterns and symbols to appear on the building. They recall but also unify typical weather forecast graphics. For example wind speed and direction is displayed by the vectors' orientation which links the motion of the thermodynamic graphics to the actual exposure of the building to the weather. The different weather types are all displayed by the vectors whereas their re-alignment to horizontal or vertical lines forms transitions between the different patterns. The filling rate of the vectors depends on the actual light condition of tomorrow's weather. A cloudy day will lead to less illumination than a sunny day. This logic links the 'sky' condition of tomorrow's weather to the skyscraper's illumination intensity.

The resulting geometric play of colors and shapes mirrors environmental data by means of light in order to reinforce the tower's role in the city to be an urban landmark, a common light sign referencing Nicolas Schoffer's ideas about cybernetic towers.

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