Everyone knows the three Rs of being a responsible citizen of the world, reduce, reuse and recycle. Many designers have also taken these tenants to heart in their own work. One project where we can see reuse of obsolete architecture in action is Silo 468.
Silo 468 is a decommissioned oil silo in the Finnish capital of Helsinki. It has been reinvented into a civic center with its own permanent light art. Lighting Design Collective (LDC) was asked by the city to convert the silo in celebration of Helsinki being named this year’s World Design Capital. This previously industrial site has a suitably industrial scale. It is 35 meters in diameter and 16 meters tall, allowing it to be seen from much of the city. The interior has been painted deep red that glows with the dappled sunlight that enters from holes on the skin. But it’s at night that Silo 468 really shines. 1280 LEDs transform the Silo into a low-res screen. The lights shine both inside and out through the holes and show animations created with the help of Tecné Collective. The sea was used as inspiration and the animations use software to change meteorological data into a light show that is never the same twice. At midnight, the silo turns bright red for an hour in homage to its links to the generation of energy.
Innovative use of old structures is essential in lessening our burden on the planet. Here LDC has reimagined an ugly industrial building into a beacon shining to the power of design.