NOMA Earth Tubes Lighting

Location Manchester, UK
Services Lighting Design
Sector Lifestyle
Client The Co-operative Group and Hermes
Imagery © Studio Tech/David Lake

Andrew Bissell

T +44 (0)161 244 5660

Cundall Light4 was appointed by The Co-operative and Hermes to provide the lighting design for the three earth tubes adjacent to the new Co-operative Group office at 1 Angel Square in Manchester.

The earth tubes are part of the air intakes natural ventilation system that draws through 50,000 litres of air per second.

Integrated withing each earth tube are three bespoke lighting elements, these are;

• Bespoke fin crown lights
• Linear lid lights
• Vertically curved linear lights between the fins

All of the lighting elements were specified as individually addressable RGB units, this resulted in some 28,000 individually addressed LED’s.

Animations and lighitng effects were included as visualisations within the specification to allow a number of day one scenes and as examples of what the system must be capable of delivering. A fundamental element of the concept design was to deliver an interactive lighting installation either through cameras, sensors, mobile phones or fixed equipment. The project was tendered in April 2015 and Studiotech won the tender to develop the design, supply, install, programme and commission the lighting and lighting control.

Since the completion of the installation the lighting has been programmed with a series of vibrant animations, images of poppies for remembrance day, coloured in support of Aids Awareness Day and programmed to create a shadow of the people walking past or dancing in front of the earth tubes. Future programming will be offered to students and artist.

This is a standout Light Art installation in Manchester which will continue to evolve over time. Watch the video here.


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Our people sit at the very heart of what we do at Cundall. Our mission is to provide great opportunities for great people, create fantastic built environments and leave a positive legacy for our communities.

It is the knowledge and expertise of our people which helps us to do this; our commitment to recruiting and nurturing great talent is what has made us successful for the last 40 years and it remains critical to our future plans.

At Cundall, we place special importance on our early careers professionals (graduates, apprentices, interns and more), understanding that they are the future of our business and the key to our long-term, sustainable growth. 

Learn more about we do and how you can build your career at Cundall

Cundall's expertise extends to all major markets, so we have a deep understanding of the specific issues, constraints and opportunities facing our clients' market sectors.

Our team of creative engineers draw on our accumulated knowledge to devise the best possible solutions for your project in a fully integrated and cost-effective way.

About us

Established in the UK 40 years ago, Cundall has developed into an international multi-disciplinary consultancy operating from over 20 locations across the globe.