Punctured and illuminated, an oil silo on the Helsinki coastline has been recast as a permanent art installation. Silo 468 was commissioned in part to commemorate the city’s 2012 appointment as a World Design Capital. Madrid-based Lighting-Design Collective were brought to the Finish city for the drastic transformation project. A pattern of perforations coats the former silo. Horizontal bands of perforations wrap around the exterior, intersected by irregular vertical streaks whose path follows that of the patterns of rust that once consumed the metal exterior. By day sun pierces through to dapple the interior of the space with ever-shifting shadows. On the outside of the structure LED lights nestled in each opening produce shimmering effects that mirror the play of light on the surface of the surrounding water.
Once night falls the building acts as a canvas for a dramatic light show generated by the area’s prevailing winds, a move that is not without precedent in lighting design. The ebb and flow of this display is meant to recall the movements of flocks of birds that frequent the seaside location. Harnessed by custom software that responds to its environment, the organic engine driving the light shows means that no pattern will ever repeat itself. The red paint that coats the inside of the building tinges the light show in order to create a distinct viewing experience for visitors to the inside of the building. Located in Kruunuvuorenranta district, the 52 foot silo is visible from central Helsinki.