The Blue Boar crane was one of a pair built in 1957 to unload aggregates for the nearby cement works. Each crane was capable of lifting an impressive 10 tonnes, with its boom standing at 170ft tall when upright. In 2006 they were both dismantled to allow the construction of the new river wall, and the following year, one of the cranes was reassembled before being positioned on the edge of Blue Boar Creek.
As part of the redevelopment of Rochester Riverside, located next to the River Medway, Countryside Partnerships and Hyde Housing, together with Medway Council, are transforming the 74-acre brownfield site into a new mixed-tenure community, providing around 1,400 new homes.
Lighting design consultancy It Does Lighting were appointed by Countryside with the aim of lighting up the structure in a sympathetic and attractive way, considering the proximity of the new residents. It Does Lighting, in partnership with Intellilight UK and LITE Architectural specified Pharos Architectural Controls to deliver the control aspect of the exterior lighting design featuring dynamic colour-changing scenes.
Lorraine Calcott, Director and Founder of It Does Lighting, along with Barry Crook, Senior Lighting Designer, created a lighting scheme consisting of eleven Color Kinetics luminaires controlled by a Pharos Designer LPC 1 (Lighting Playback Controller 1). The LPC is an all-in-one control solution perfect for LED lighting installations. The crane is bathed in a soft blue wash, matching the blue colour in which it is painted, causing it to almost blend into the sky during the day but shine from its prominent position at night.
The focus of each fixture, with strong shadows, saturated blue and the intensity is fine-tuned to reveal the striking industrial shape and form of the structure.
As the crane is in a residential area, care was taken to ensure the predominantly blue illumination would avoid certain blue wavelengths that are considered disruptive to sleep, and light levels are also dimmed at night to reduce light pollution and disturbance to locals.
But it is not only lit in shades of blue. The vision of the lighting scheme is to use decorative and subtle colour-changing to create a variety of dynamic lighting looks that will allow Countryside to mark special days such as the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes, New Years Eve and patriotic occasions, and has a different lighting schedule for week days and weekends.
The Blue Boar stands as a testament to the industrial heritage of the river Medway and those who worked with the structure, creating a newly lit landmark for the local community in Rochester. It was also recently awarded a LIT award.
End User: Countryside Partnerships
Lighting Designer: Lorraine Calcott & Barry Crook, It Does Lighting
Lighting Supplier and Installation Partner: LITE
Lighting Controls: Pharos Architectural Controls Ltd
System and Software Programmer: Intellilight UK