3 October 2017

Night of Heritage Light illuminates Oxford

Some of Oxford’s finest buildings got a lighting makeover on Friday as part of the Night of Heritage Light (NOHL), which took place at the same time as the Curiosity Carnival, an extravaganza of events designed to get members of the public engaged with the University’s research.

Bodleian Library on Night of Heritage Light - credit NOHL, SLL & Dan Patton

The buildings taking part in NOHL included the Radcliffe Camera, Ashmolean Museum and the Museum of the History of Science. Most of the new lighting schemes have already been taken down, but the Radcliffe Camera’s will stay in place until early 2018 to help inform discussions about the possibility of lighting it up for the long term. It is one of Oxford’s best-loved buildings, and being illuminated for some of the night could greatly increase the impact of its stunning architecture during hours of darkness.

Museum of Natural History on Night of Heritage Light - copyright NOHL, SLL & Dan Patton

The Ashmolean had a starry night sky projected onto it, in keeping with the Curiosity Carnival’s ‘Time and Space’ theme, while the Radcliffe Observatory also took on an appropriately astronomical feel, with a spotlight beaming up into the heavens and twinkling window lighting. The Radcliffe Humanities Building, meanwhile, was adorned with rainbow stripes of light echoing the logo of TORCH, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities, based there.

Radcliffe Camera on Night of Heritage Light - copyright NOHL, SLL & Dan Patton

The Old Bodleian had lighting schemes designed by local school children projected onto the walls of its main courtyard, with a flaming design and message that ‘Books fire up your imagination’. Probably the most remarkable spectacle of all was the Museum of Natural History, which became the backdrop for a stunning audio visual display fusing scientific imagery with medieval art.

Radcliffe Observatory on Night of Heritage Light - copyright NOHL, SLL & Dan Patton

NOHL was organised and set up for free by the Society for Light and Lighting (SLL), a professional body representing the lighting industry, with the aim of enthusing people about the possibilities of lighting and the potential of a career in the industry. Rob Gregg, Principal Electrical Engineer in the Estates Services Building Services team, played a key part in making the events of the night happen.