Screen printed enameled glass, stainless steel, LED lighting
Taith Newydd – Glanrhyd Low Secure Mental Health Unit, Bridgend, Wales, 2015

Screen printed ceramic inks on toughened laminated glass, stainless steel and RGB LED lighting
Taith Newydd
 – Glanrhyd Low Secure Mental Health Unit, Bridgend, South Wales
Commissioned by EMP Projects on behalf of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board.

Llusernau (Welsh for lanterns) is a light installation comprised of three pentagonal glass mirror prism, each discretely housing a RGBW LED lighting system. The pattern of each lantern has been individually designed for three internal courtyards, which lie at the heart of Taith Newydd – the new Low Secure Mental Health Unit in Glanrhyd, Wales.

The design and form of the lanterns have developed from our research into the mathematical relationships of patterns in nature, in particular the relationship between phyllotaxis, phi and the pentagonal form. The coloured translucent patterns on each panel are derived from macro-photographs of leaves taken from the Cedar and Rowan tree and the Geranium plant. The resulting patterns have then been arranged to repeat, mirror and reflect around the pentagonal form.

During the day the silvered lattice pattern on the lanterns reflect the changing sky and surrounding landscape, whilst at night their traceries cast pools of dappled light and shadow. In contrast to this the translucent green of the foliage pattern appears unchanging during daylight hours, but at night the internal lighting illuminates the leaf pattern from within, subtly taking it through a sequence of colours.

Background to the project
In 2014 we were brought on board to develop site specific art interventions for the new building. Part of our brief was to create a robust creative lighting installation for the hospital’s courtyards around which the Rowan and Cedar Wards are built.

The idea for the artwork evolved through discussions with the steering group, landscape architect and design team. We were keen that the lanterns were different for each of the courtyards to aid orientation and that the lighting solution also had a tangible daytime presence. We were also wanted to reference some of the organic qualities found in gardens such as the dappled light and green foliage patterns, whilst at the same time remaining true to the underlying form and symmetry of the pentagon.

We worked with the architectural art glass specialist Proto Studios to develop the glass designs which were completed and installed in Spring 2015. The finished lanterns are constructed from 21.5 mm thick toughened laminated glass which has been silvered and printed with durable ceramic inks. The glass structure sits on a stainless steel base each housing three energy efficient LED luminaires.

The lighting system switches on automatically at dusk via a photocell, but each lantern can also be individually controlled by remote control handsets, with the option to change the colour sequences as desired.

Vinyl designs for glazed areas
Complementing this installation are a series of frosted vinyl designs and manifestations which we created for key glazed areas in the building using the foliage patterns generated through the lantern designs. The patterns derived from Rowan and Cedar have been installed in the corresponding wards and provide privacy and visual interest for service users, whilst subtly aiding orientation around the building.