Award-winning architectural office, spatial practice, completed a site-specific light installation in Tokushima, Japan; titled Indigo Waterfall. The permanent fiber optic lighting installation is debuted at the Tokushima LED Art Festival 2016 flanking both sides of Kasuga Bridge creating the perception of indigo ink spilling into Shinmachi River.
Inspired by both the past and present industries of Tokushima City, the designer merges and highlights the importance of both industries in its development of the city. Tokushima City was built by the indigo dye industry; big indigo storehouses occupied both waterfronts surrounding Kasuga Bridge where white walls and blue stones were reflected onto the river.
Tracing back to its history, the Indigo Waterfall gives new remembrance to the surrounding indigo storehouses by utilizing Tokushima City’s new thriving LED industry and its surrounding natural beauty. By connecting light, nature, local culture and people; the installation creates a new image for Tokushima City.
Indigo Waterfall bridges the past, future, and evolution of industrial development.
Kasuga Bridge is located over Shinmachi River in Tokushima City, Japan. The bridge length is 48.6 meters long with a bridge clearance width of 18 meters. The installation is designed with consideration of the safety of passing cars above and boats that pass underneath.
To mimic glistening falling water with lighting, the design required extreme consistency with varied treated patterns and length of the each fiber optic. Each side of the bridge is constructed with 32 units of hanging fiber optic lighting. Each unit includes:
•Module of 1.35 meters long
•90 pieces of hung lighting fibers, ranging between 1.03 to 1.15 meter long
•Natural curve of each fiber is treated and straightened
•Each fiber is treated by hand with 8 different patterns of scratches or scores
•In total, the light installation has a total of 5,760 individual lighting fibers treated with 160,448 hand cut scores and 2,752 scratches.
Quotes by the Designers
“With the image of the Indigo Waterfall infused onto Shimachi River and spreading into Hyoutan Island,” explains Creative Director, Erik Amir, “We unite past and present industries, local materials, nature, and water to narrate the past and current history of the Kasuga Bridge.”
“Indigo Waterfall offers homage to the city of Tokushima for the development of one of Japan’s most technically challenging and traditional crafts while also embracing its new future in green technology and fiber optics.” Source by spatial practice.
- Location: Kasuga Bridge; Tokushima, Japan
- Architects: spatial practice
- Project Team: Erik Amir, Dora Chi, Jason Loo, Ryo Otsuka, Taylor Williams
- Light Consultant: Light Moment
- Local Consultant: Kanou Consultant
- Main Contractor: Tokugawa Denko
- Sub-Contractor: Products Kei; Style-Tec
- Client: Tokushima City Government
- Year: 2016
- Photographs: Tokushima Press release, Courtesy of spatial practice
Article by Marco Rinaldi