Arboreal Lightning, Camden Roundhouse London

Arboreal Lightning, Interactive Installation, Camden Roundhouse Luminous Environment

Arboreal Lightning London Installation

Camden Roundhouse Interior in London: performative stage beacon design by atmos architects

26 Dec 2014

Arboreal Lightning at Camden Roundhouse

Location: London, England, UK

Design: atmos

Arboreal Lightning

Interactive Lighting Installation

Arboreal Lightning

Arboreal Lightning is a large-scale interactive lighting installation by atmos that transforms sound and gesture into an immersive, fluctuating, luminous environment – specifically designed for the Camden Roundhouse. Its activity is generated by both amateurs and professionals – artist performers and a wider audience – creating a performative stage beacon that activates programmed performances, and also serves as an interactive public installation outside concert times.

Lightning Camden Roundhouse London

Arboreal Lightning is the centrepiece and graphical icon for the 4-day Reverb Festival of Contemporary Classical Music – a smorgasbord of contemporary composers, with an emphasis on technological innovation.  It was  commissioned by both the Roundhouse venue and the Reverb curator, acclaimed musician Imogen Heap, who will then modify and use it on her year-long world tour.

The project mirrors the Roundhouse’s clock-like plan of 24 columns by bundling 24 strands of LED light into a giant heavy-rooted trunk that grows from the stage to arc over the colonnade and arches above.

Arboreal Lightning at Camden Roundhouse

The strands soar upwards and weave through columns and rafters to follow the building’s dramatic structure, seeking hidden recesses and unexplored corners, before exploding outwards above both the performers and audience.

Arboreal Lightning Camden Roundhouse

Some branches yearn upwards, towards the light of the lantern; a few strands bow down to reach and mingle with the audience, who can then trigger their own luminous ripples and join in the spatial symphony. This light canopy of visual music creates a unifying lattice that embraces the people beneath it within a giant, pulsating, Gaian network – umbilical cords connecting people to building, sound to light.

Arboreal Lightning Camden Roundhouse London

1,500 metres of LED string have been meticulously tamed to shadow the contours of the building’s giant skeleton – yet each of the 4,800 pixel nodes glimmer individually in response to life. They  coalesce to form a sinuous elastic mesh of sculptural video; a fluid, spatial cinema, worming through the building.

Arboreal Lightning Camden London

Arboreal Lightning unleashes the hidden power of a place – and people. It explores inaccessible spaces and ineffable sensations –  the physical manifestation of music, and the convergence of sensations. In an age of emancipated connectivity and collaboration, it seeks to reinvent and re-imagine the relationship between performer and audience, sound and light.

Arboreal Lightning London

Arboreal Lightning London – Building Information


Design:  atmos
Software Design:  Adam Stark

LED supplier: Architainment

CNC routing: The Cutting Room

Technology Support: John Nussey

Maker Space: Makerversity

Website Support: Fluency

Fabrication: a long list of great people
(see base of

MuseImogen Heap

With extra special thanks to the brilliant Adam Stark; Tim Meadowcroft, Rachel Nelken, Fiona Greenhill, Liz Counsell, Dave Gaydon, Marcus Davey and the fabulous team at the Roundhouse; Imogen Heap and her team; Mark Wood at Radius Music;  Nick Archdale & Tim Edwards at Pharos Controls; Edil Samatar at Fluency; Kelly Snook; Jak Drinnan; Stuart Knox at LEDLinear; Thomas Ermacora; over 60 wonderful volunteers; and the light that is Sinead Mac Manus

Arboreal Lightning is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, with additional support from Roundhouse, Imogen Heap and Radius Music.

Arboreal-Lightning at the Roundhouse

RSVP Press Launch, Weds 20th August, 18:30:

Arboreal Lightning images / information from atmos

Address: Camden Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH, UK
Phone: 0300 678 9222

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