Created as part of the tri-centenary celebrations of the signing of the Treaty of Utrecht, “In Lumine Tuo” is a lighting installation that commemorates this Dutch city and its landmarks: the Dom Tower, church, and square. The project brief asked for a design that would transform these symbols into “living” entities, while recalling their place in Utrecht’s history.
The team at Speirs + Major created a design in which “light comes from within.” As such, lighting becomes the common element used to highlight the architectural details of the Gothic-style tower and church. All the lighting equipment—spotlights, projectors, strobes, and controls—were carefully positioned using compression clamping so as not to compromise any part of the landmarked structures.
The Dom Tower is the focal point of “In Lumine Tuo.” Visible from different vantage points in the city, the light sequence is timed to take place just before the striking of the hour. The show begins as the spotlights in the tower’s arches fade in and out at different intensities. Once the structure is fully illuminated, chimes begin to ring, and a series of lighting effects—bursts of speckled white light—move up the tower. As the bells get louder, the movement of light accelerates, and the installation culminates in a flickering burst of light from the tower’s belfry. The clock strikes, the tower goes dark, and then it illuminates again. It’s as if the tower is breathing and city residents—past and present—are connected across time.
Project: In Lumine Tuo, Utrecht, the Netherlands • Owner/Client: Gemeente Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands • Lighting Designer: Speirs + Major, London Team Members: Mark Major, Keith Bradshaw, Benz Roos, Ray Bill, and Iain Ruxton • Art Consultant: Marijke Jansen • Project Manager: Kees Van De Lagemaat • City Engineer: Arthur Klink • Programmer: Daniel Harvey • Contractor: Heijmans N.V., Rosmalen, the Netherlands • Photographer: James Newton Photographs, London • Project Size: 48,800 square feet • Project Cost: Withheld • Lighting Cost: Withheld • Watts per Square Foot: 0.3W excluding strobes; 1W including all strobes • Code Compliance: Not Applicable • Manufacturers: ACDC; Diversitronics; Hungaroflash; Martin Professional; Meyer; Pharos; Proliad; Sill
Jury Comments: An interesting modern interpretation of a clock tower. • Tells a strong story. • Subtle and dramatic. • The intricate programming and controls that create the spectacle are impressive.