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Synchronizing the City: Its Natural and Urban Rhythms

Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Oliver Beer, Arup, Copper Consultancy, L’Observatoire International, Penoyre & Prasad, Jennifer Tipton and Transsolar

As urban dwellers in a 24/7 global economy, we are desensitised to natural cycles, like the setting of the sun and the ebb and flow of the tides. Synchronising the City aims to align the metabolism of the city and its inhabitants with the lost pulses of nature at a time of day that nature and culture intertwine and daylight submits to electric light. To mark the Magic Hour when the sun has crossed the horizon and the sky starts to dim, the bridges along the Thames will slowly fill with light like a vessel with liquid until they are full at the end of ‘civil twilight,’ which will be punctuated by a Night Kiss – a beam of light momentarily directed to the sky.

The precise timing of each bridge will mark its geographical position and render the rotation of the earth visible while drawing the meandering form of the river virtually in the sky. As the chiming of church bells once served to gather villagers, the civic-scale lighting ceremony will celebrate a new form of urban collectivity.

Presentation video
3D fly-through video

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