Does an art gallery need a chimney?
This essential element, a vertical response to the imposing horizontality of the building’s architecture, could be used as a signal which would speaks of both the former function and the new incarnation of the site.
The idea of this project is to evoke, through a transformed image of the smoke that used to belch out of the chimney, both the original industrial state of the building (an image that also includes people who worked inside it every day) and the prospect of a site dedicated to modern and contemporary art.
The polluting fumes which used to be released are replaced by positive emanations expressing the intense activity of a place of which the present product is culture.
The idea is also to create an original landmark, a kind of ‘mirage like’ apparition attracting curiosity and animating the London skyline in a different way.
The effect is provided by a cloud of vaporized water illuminated from several light sources.
A powerful white light placed inside the chimney gives the wreath its dynamism. Four floodlights positioned on the roof give its colours which can be slowly changing by the use of rotating filters.
To avoid any waste, the water can be drowned directly from the Thames. A pump propels the pressured water, through a piping system, to the top of the chimney where nozzles transform the flux into a fine spray creating a ‘wreath of smoke’, By adjustment of the pressure, the dimension of the plume can be adapted to the varying wind conditions. The ‘cloud’ itself is not really perceptible, it’s only made visible by the light. The size of the droplets is such that they will evaporate into the atmosphere.
The ‘cloud’ could also be used as a screen to show text, images or films, using a projector attached to the structure of the bridge. Alternatively, LASER images could be generated from the other side of the river. In both instances the floodlight would be switched off.