Folded Light

Carpenter | Lowings, London, 2016


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Folded Light seen from below 

Timothy Soar     Download Original

  • Folded Light seen from below    
  • Folded Light as seen from the second floor combining daylight and artificial light    
  • View of Folded Light within the lightwell enclosure from the seventh floor    
  • Partial view from the seventh floor with sunlight reflected into the space    
  • Close-up view of the folded semi-reflective surface and the vertical coated glass fin from the seventh floor    
  • Close-up view of the folded  semi-reflective surface and vertical coated glass fin showing gold reflected light    
  • Oblique view of the light well and Folded Light with gold daylight reflections at second floor level    
  • Close-up view of the dichroic glass fin with gold daylight reflections    
  • Sculpted surface of Folded Light    
  • Building section    
  • Shaded general arrangement drawings    
  • General arrangement drawings    
  • Plan sections    
  • Close-up details of wall build-up    
  • Concept model    
  • Design development model in the making    
  • Design development model    
  • Detail design model - Junction detail    
  • Material sample close-up showing folds and joint    
  • Partial mock-up    
  • Off-site pre-assembly of panels    
  • Panel geometry    

A 40-metre-high integrated artwork across ten storeys, designed for a slender void space in a new office development.

The stainless steel surface, formed to exploit the almost vertical angle of the light, allows the occupants to perceive the changing conditions of the sky above.

Manufactured from finely-textured sheet stainless steel, ’Folded Light’, is an asymmetrical arrangement of 47 individual mostly triangular, three-dimensional folded panels of varying sizes and different folding angles. Together, these create a single continuous rippled surface that appears more compacted toward the bottom. The folds enhance the drama in the existing light conditions by catching natural light from above and contrasting it with shadow below. A vertical blade of dichroic glass bisects the entire wall and separates the light spectrum into halves, producing complementary colours on either side of the space.

‘Folded Light’ is exceptionally material efficient. The folds stiffen the flat material, and allow for the sheet thickness to be reduced and the structural frames to be minimal. Its unfolded length is only 2m longer than its folded elevation – producing a powerfully sculptural effect with only a little more material compared to flat cladding.

Natural light entering the void space can be enhanced and supplemented by artificial lighting, when required. Cool white light sources from above mimic daylight, while a full range of colours from below increases the dramatic impact of the artwork. Side-lighting at each floor level picks out the colour in the dichroic-coated glass.

The intriguing play of light produced by the artwork makes ‘Folded Light’ a strong visual focal point within the building. It exploits the practical functions of the void it occupies, which serves to vent the air-handling plant in the basement as well as to bring daylight into the centre of the office floors.


  • Completed: Oct 2016
  • Sector: Office
  • Total cost: £229,000
  • Address: 8 Finsbury Circus, London, EC2, United Kingdom

Professional Team