The Essex skyline has welcomed a new landmark in the form of Pioneer Point – two residential towers illuminating Ilford with stunning LED media facades – a collaborative creation from companies including New York’s Global Design Strategies (GDS) and UK specialist lighting solutions provider, Architainment Lighting Ltd.

Pioneer Point developer, Empire Property Group International (EPGI)wanted to create a bold and vibrant lighting scheme for the pair of 370 feet towers and so approached CEO ofGDS, Michael Kirchmann, to design something special using the highest quality lighting and controls supplied by Architainment Lighting.

The LED specialist provided Philips Color Kinetics iColor Flex LMX, a flexible strand of high-intensity, full-colour LED nodes, designed to illuminate without the constraints of fixture size or shape. The iColor Flex LMX was fitted within the interior of each tower’s emergency staircase, creating a pixelated pattern through which content can run seamlessly. The result was a low resolution digital media facade, clearly visible through the towers’ 17,200 square metres of mainly glass facades.

Media facade video

Each iColor Flex LMX strand consists of 50 individually addressable LED nodes with one foot spacing. For Pioneer Point, Architainment Lighting delivered a total of 5,753 nodes, each encased in a frosted housing, and installed by London and Regent Construction Ltd. Architainment Lighting’s skilled technical team commissioned and programmed each media facade using a Pharos LPC 40 with a custom web page which was installed in the site’s management suite by Pharos Controls. The system is connected to an Ethernet network throughout the building. It is also possible to adjust the lighting remotely thanks to a ‘Pioneer Point’ iPhone app developed by Pharos Controls specifically for the installation. This app facilitates customer control of each media facade over WiFi, with the touch of a button. Pioneer Point will be illuminated from sunset to midnight daily and will display a range of visual effects varying in colour, direction, speed and shape, all of which were custom choreographed by GDS. Both digital light walls can also display effects for certain keys days in the annual calendar, such as Christmas, New Year and Valentine’s Day programmed to run automatically on the LPC X.

Commenting on the project’s success GDS CEO, Michael Kirchmann, said:

“Working with Architainment on this media facade project has been tremendously rewarding and helpful. They have gone above and beyond anything we could have hoped for and thanks to them, and everyone else involved, the project has been a great success and exceeded all expectations. Through a collaborative effort we have produced a piece of art of which Ilford’s residents can be proud.”