Sands Bethworks Retained Edifices

Bethlehem (PA), United States


Alyssha Eve Csuk


Scottish Design Awards, 2011

Award of Merit, IALD Awards, 2010

Architecture + Environment

Speirs + Major were invited to light this disused steelworks as part of the renovated Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

About Sands Bethworks
Bethlehem Steel used to be one of the largest shipbuilding and steel producers in the world and remains an important symbol of America’s industrial might. A decade after the furnaces finally went cold, the site has been transformed into a resort run by Las Vegas Sands Corporation. As part of the development, several structures, including the blast furnaces that defined the city’s skyline, have been carefully preserved and re-lit.

About the lighting
The community wanted to make sure that the history of the site was not forgotten. Our approach was to preserve the memory using light to retell the story of local steel production. Carefully programmed LEDs illuminate the structures, with shades of red and blue used to express hot and cool processes. The furnaces appear to smoulder, intensifying in colour as they ‘heat’ up, before cooling off and returning to darkness for periods. In this way, light plays a role in linking the site to its industrial past – preserving the integrity of the steelworks and celebrating their place in American industrial history.

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