The David Oluwale bridge in Leeds stands proud across the River Aire between Sovereign Street and Water Lane. Welcomed to the city as a symbolic link between the past, present and future, the bridge has been named after David Oluwale, a Nigerian national who drowned in the river in 1969 after being racially harassed by police officers.
The bridge’s practical use provides a better link to the town centre for cyclists and pedestrians and is a key element of the much wider and ambitious South Bank regeneration programme. Its significance is, however, much greater – acting as a symbol of ambition and commitment to diversity and inclusion in Leeds. To make the bridge even more poignant, it is illuminated each night using a Designer LPC 4 (Lighting Playback Controller 4) from lighting controls specialist Pharos Architectural Controls.
The four DMX universe LPC 4 controls the lights situated in the panels that form the sides of the bridge. There are 16 of these Spectraglass light panels on either side of the bridge, illuminated by a KMX LED fitting from The Light Lab. Each RGB+W fitting can be addressed in 13 separate 115cm segments to create the changing light effects, which simulates the flight of an owl across the bridge.
The Pharos Designer LPC is an award-winning, all-in-one control solution for themed entertainment and LED lighting installations. Featuring individually controllable and independently running timelines and scenes, the LPC also offers the freedom of real-time manual overrides. Additionally, the control solution gives the versatility of powerful show control and integration features.
Pharos Architectural Controls was brought into the project by The Light Lab, who had been commissioned to deliver the lighting design and the manufacturing and installation of the bespoke Spectraglass light panels.
Together, The Light Lab team and Pharos worked in conjunction with lighting solutions provider Architainment, Mott Macdonald Architects, and contractors BAM Nutall. The structure was built locally in Yorkshire, around 20 miles from the site, with specialist equipment moving the 30m long bridge to the riverside before its installation.
Ryan Sainsbury, Regional Sales Manager for the UK from Pharos Architectural Controls said: “Pharos is very proud to be part of such a significant project that clearly means so much to the people of Leeds. The bridge is a lasting legacy and a true symbol of hope for a better future.”
As well as general illuminations to showcase the bridge at night and remind locals and visitors of its importance, the structure can also be lit in an array of colours to support the city’s calendar of cultural events.
Client: Leeds City Council, David Oluwale Memorial Association
Delivery Partners: BAM Nuttall
Concept design: Mott MacDonald
Bespoke fabrication & installation: The Light Lab
Lighting control: Pharos Architectural Controls
Commissioning and programming: Architainment Lighting
Photography: Chapman Brown Photography / BAM Nuttall
Drone photos by: Aaron Ethan – Just Dronin / Mark Dobson