Lighting Technology Projects (LTP), working to a lighting design by Speirs & Major Associates (SaMA), has installed and assisted in implementing the final specification for the new Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) memorial sculpture in Poole.
This first ever national monument for the organisation is located in the gardens of the RNLI's HQ, and commemorates the 778 RNLI lifesavers lost since its foundation in 1824. The sculpture was designed by artist Sam Holland, and the elegant lighting by Satu Streatfield.
The sculpture shows a stainless steel boat containing a lifeboat crew member saving a casualty from the water – a bold and dramatic statement reflecting the history and projecting the future of the RNLI, symbolising courage, loss, selflessness, remembrance and hope.
LTP has worked in a similar role on other SaMA lighting projects, and was asked onboard when the lighting design elements were still in the mock-up stages. The project was led for LTP by Terry Reeves, who comments, "It was a real honour to work on something as significant, poignant and relevant as this, as well as having the opportunity to light such a stunning piece of art".
The 4.5 metre high Memorial is lit with a combination of fixtures, some integrated into the structure itself and others set back on special mounting poles. An essential design requirement was for all physical evidence of the lightsources to be concealed, with just their effect adding presence and form to the work.
Fixed (3200°K) warm white LED key lights are mounted on the dark grey plinth beneath the Memorial sculpture, hidden behind the boat . One pair is up-lighting the lifeboat crew member and the boat interior, with a single fixture illuminating the casualty.
Rigged on a six metre pole off to the side is a Meyer Superlight discharge source in open white, carefully focussed to skim flatly across the top of the entire sculpture. This also casts distinct shadows from the ribs of the boat down onto the plinth, adding texturing and drama to the flat surface. The fixture is fitted with an anti glare snoot to minimise any potential distraction factors for passing motorists.
Another five of the same Superlights, fitted with double blue high temperature filters are down-lighting the surrounding area, creating a shimmering effect to accentuate the warmth of the lighting focussed on the lifeboat crew member.
The installation is time clock controlled, switching on at dusk and off at dawn. The lighting beautifully accentuates the contrasts between the matt grey surface of the plinth and clean sheen stainless steel of the boat, allowing the work to come alive and take on a different persona at night as well as being appreciated during the day.
Completing the lighting part of the project are two rows of single recessed cool white ACDC LEDs, complete with eyelid bezels to reduce glare and subtly denote the access ramp.