MAI Blog

Wall of Light, Coventry City

In 2001 an open tender was released by Coventry City council to produce a piece of work for The Phoenix Initiative. The brief asked to provide a creative solution for a 60 metre wide x 2 metre high wall on the outside of a major new shopping development in Coventry City Centre.

The Wall is split into seven large panels that span the 60m length. It is constructed from 160,000 marbles sandwiched between two sheets of steel which give the wall an tactile and intricate surface. Behind the sheets are 60 coloured neon tubes that switch on when it gets dark. The tubes are connected to motion sensors which are turned on for a short period of time when someone walks past.

One of the seven panels has an LED screen set behind the marbles. This is linked to a system which allows people to send text messages to the screen via their mobile phone. The messages instantly scroll across the panel and are then added to a playlist that replays the messages the following day. Adding this functionality has lifted the project from being a purely decorative piece and has proved extremely popular with the people of Coventry.


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