Silo 468 is a permanent light art installation in a former industrial area in central Helsinki. The project was unveiled in October 2012 as part of the city's stint as World Design Capital.
In a region of the world where winter nights can last upwards of 18 hours, Silo 468 celebrates this highly valued commodity of light and allows the public to reclaim an industrial space for civic and artistic celebration.
Located near the sea, the abandoned oil tank is located in an area known for its strong winds. Lighting Design Collective was inspired by this setting and used the combination of natural light, wind, and movement of light on the water as a source of inspiration for the formulation of their lighting concept.
To illuminate the interior and exterior of the project, the team perforated the exterior surface of the 56-foot-tall tank.
During the day, the tank's appearance changes and the matrix of perforations recede against the bright white steel surface.
The interior is ringed with 1,280 2700K white LEDs, mounted in alignment with the 2,012 surface cutouts (the number commemorates the installation year).
Every evening at midnight, the white LEDs switch to red for one hour and give the silo’s interior a warm, red glow.
When natural light is seasonally available, the red-painted interior is infused with dappled sunlight.
Programmable dimmers allow the LEDs to interact with software that refreshes its algorithmic data every five minutes, to respond to changes in wind velocity, temperature, and precipitation.
Daylight seeps through the perforations that follow the rust patterns on the walls of the former oil-storage tank.