The brief

EPS Lighting was approached to design and supply an intelligent lighting control system for the Neuron Pod at the Queen Mary University of London

The Project

EPS Lighting were appointed by Sutton Vane Associates to design and deliver a Pharos Architectural Control System for the feature rich Neuron Pod with intelligent indoor and outdoor lighting. The exterior features intelligent fibre optic lighting, controlled using DMX whilst the interior features recessed in-ground RGBW up-light fixtures, controlled using DMX with intelligent RDM addressing. Adjustable spot fixtures can be seen rigged to the interior ceiling, which are providing the main source of interior illumination controlled using DALI. 

The project features a TPC (touch panel controller) and an EXT extension module, by Pharos Controls. The TPC is situated by the main door of the building, which controls interior lighting in groups with an array of scenes and time-clock controls, as well as the exterior lighting which is password protected, time-clock controlled with calendar scheduling for special events. The EXT provides great integration, with TCP/IP inputs, PoE output to the local TPC, DALI and DMX interfaces as well as an RS232 port and finally 8 contact closure inputs, of which 2 are used for momentary push button switches, located next to the lecture theatre stage which provides a simple yet elegant on/off/dim override for the interior lighting setup.

Media Extract from The Guardian: Thrusting its bristly bottom out into the road, a curious spiny creature has landed in the backstreets of Whitechapel, London. Standing like an intergalactic porcupine, covered with long glowing quills that sway gently in the breeze, it is a startling thing to encounter in this unremarkable corner of hospital buildings and curry houses.

This is the £2m Neuron Pod, one of the last posthumous works of architect Will Alsop, who proves that he is still eminently capable of making mischief from beyond the grave. The project marks the latest addition to Queen Mary University of London’s campus, an informal science learning space for the armies of schoolchildren who benefit from the teaching hospital’s lively education programme. It is a classroom, but not as we know it.

Raised up on three tapering legs, the 23-metre-long rusting steel creature is arguably one of the architect’s most lovable creations. You first spot its rotund spiny backside from the street corner, then as you approach, its three little legs are revealed, narrowing to delicate points as if standing on tiptoes. Its long snout, meanwhile, stretches forward as though nuzzling towards something it can’t quite reach. It might be made of raw steel and covered in plastic spines, but you just want to give the chubby little thing a cuddle.


Lighting Design: Sutton Vane Associates

Control System Design: EPS Lighting

Image Credit: The Guardian, Jonathan Cole