Project
Millennium Dome, London

Location
London, United Kingdom

Completed
1999

Architect
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Landscape Architect
Dan Pearson Studio

Photographer
Mandy Reynolds

Awards

Award of Excellence, IIDA Awards, 2000

Lighting Project of the Year, The Building Services Awards, 2000

Award of Merit, IALD Awards, 2001

Best Lighting Installation, FX International Design Awards, 2001
Type
Leisure and Retail

Discipline
Architecture + Environment




Richard Rogers Millennium Dome was one of the most monumental – and controversial – projects designed to mark the birth of the 21st century.

With multiple possible viewpoints from the river, air and ground, our approach to the exterior lighting of the 320-metre diameter structure was holistic. We opted to light only selected architectural and landscape elements, creating points of discovery for visitors.

The iconic yellow masts that sprout from the roof are lit to enhance the three-dimensional character of the structure. At base level we highlighted the cylindrical plant towers in red to suggest a sense of energy, while washing the curved sides and overhanging eaves in white to define the perimeter.

For the piazza, a grid of ground-recessed LED colour-change fittings blink and change colour on the hour, helping to orient visitors in both place and time. The Millennium Gardens were envisaged as a dark contemplative area, so we approached the lighting with a simple ‘field of stars’ on a 14m grid, bounded by the subtly illuminated Living Wall.

Inside, we lit up the roof structure, describing the form of the building in lighting that changes colour during the course of the day from white to deep blue at night, and marking out walkways and circulation zones.

In 2006, we were invited back to provide lighting design advice as part of the team transforming the site into the hugely successful O2 entertainment arena.

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