Having proudly stood tall on the south bank of the River Thames in London since the 1920s, the iconic O X O lights of Oxo Tower Wharf are now once again illuminating the city skyline.
The art deco tower was designed and added to the building by the owners at the time, the makers of OXO stock cubes. Its purpose was to incorporate the O X O windows, which sidestepped the planning regulations at the time on skyline advertising.
By the 1970s, the former stalwart of the industrial revolution was largely derelict and had fallen into disrepair. Two decades later, Oxo Tower Wharf was given a new lease of life when Coin Street Community Builders began a £20million refurbishment. It is now a vibrant mixed-use development, with 78 co-operative homes, restaurants, bars and cafes spread over its 8 floors. Visitors can also find designer-maker studios and independent design shops, as well as galleries and event spaces.
As part of a scheme to bring the O X O lights back into use, new cloud technology – the first of its kind in the UK – has been commissioned. The infamous red neon lights have been replaced by sustainable LEDs, ensuring those who live, work and visit London can once again see them shining bright above the Thames. An additional feature has also been added with a new 60 second light sequence, which will be shown every hour, on the hour, during darkness.
To fulfil the needs of the project, Coin Street Community Builders worked with Architainment Lighting. Having demonstrated their expertise on other world-famous London landmarks including London Eye and Alexandra Palace, Architainment Lighting were a natural choice for the Oxo Tower Wharf.
Architainment Lighting specified Pharos controllers with cloud technology, which offered exceptional flexibility over design, colour and programming. The tower lights can be programmed remotely from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection. The cloud technology also delivers enhanced flexibility over how the lights appear both in form and colour. There are 1.3 million different combinations of colours, static scenes and moving sequences, offering the opportunity for Coin Street Community Builders to use the tower to join in major celebrations or notable days by switching the colours.
Architainment Lighting also supplied architectural linear LED lighting for the O X O illuminations. Specifying an IP67 rated luminaire to ensure the ability to withstand the weather conditions often endured by the tower, the linear LED lighting is flexible, allowing it to bend with the shapes of the letters.
It is always exciting when Architainment Lighting is appointed to work on iconic buildings, especially those in our capital city. The Oxo Tower Wharf is instantly recognisable and sits in a prime position on the banks of the Thames. With the new technology breathing new life into the O X O lights, it will be wonderful to have it as part of the night skyline once again.The flexibility offered by the Pharos controls with cloud technology will ensure the lighting can be used for multiple purposes, including marking special occasions and celebrations.Nic Tolkien, Architainment Lighting’s Managing Director
We are really excited with the new sustainable lighting, and hope Londoners and visitors will be looking out for it, especially the light changing options on the hourAlison Pinner, deputy group director of Coin Street Community Builders