In record time (six months), a lighting installation transformed this viaduct from infrastructure into an interactive work of art. Designed to express changes in weather through the seasons in real time, the viaduct’s strings are now illuminated from dusk till dawn on a recurring cycle, changing hue and intensity in response to wind speed and ambient temperature. 600 RGB colour-changing luminaires, totaling 2,863 linear feet stretch across the 450m viaduct.

Creating user friendly, customizable and responsive controls was a key design criteria. The installation is partly controlled by an integrated weather sensor mounted atop the viaduct, outputting a digital weather signal received by a customized computer program. This signal is converted into real-time video, which is transferred to a video processor that maps the signal onto the bridge and across the luminaires using DMX protocol. All control components and remote drivers are stored in a climate-controlled cabinet.

A full-sized mockup tested the optical distribution of the luminaires. To achieve a balance of sidelight grazing the strings and spill onto the roadway, a 13×45 degree distribution was used. A custom designed louver hides the source as the balance between source visibility and the effect of light on the strings is critical to the effect. Despite the ambitious nature of this project, the team was able to execute on time, and under budget, thanks to smart installation decisions.