Karmarama’s ‘Psychedelic Rabbit Hole’
Karmarama, one of the fastest-growing communications agencies in the UK, relocated to Farringdon Place in a move to unite the entire Karma Comms group of 250 staff under one roof. With successful campaigns for Costa, Age UK, Ikea and the BBC, Karmarama’s office space needed to reflect their creative spirit and has been designed and installed by bluu Solutions to spellbind international clients whilst providing “instant karma” for all staff. From a giant red Buddha to miniature doorways visitors must crawl through to enter meeting rooms, the office is an inventive mix of stimulating visuals and absurd experiences. To access this decadent wonderland, a psychedelic rabbit hole in the form of an illuminated, color-changing tunnel was installed to create an appropriately dramatic entrance.
Constructed from 40 units of Applelec’s LED Light Sheet fitted with RGB LEDs, the tunnel has been programmed to run a variety of color-changing sequences, pulse and chasing effects or even to display the corporate colors of clients as they arrive for pitches. Using amBX’s amBIENT XC DMX lighting controller, the tunnel’s color sequences can be altered throughout the building via the system’s iPad remote control. Drawing a maximum of 12.5 watts per linear meter, the use of RGB LED Light Sheet to construct the tunnel delivers an energy-efficient system with a life rating of 50,000 hours.
In Applelec’s award-winning LED Light Sheet, a clear sheet of acrylic is etched with a uniform matrix and securely embedded with thermally managed LEDs. The etched matrix acts as a vehicle to carry a bright, even light from the LEDs across the entire surface of the panel. Each LED Light Sheet panel is manufactured in the UK to bespoke requirements, with a choice of LED colors, and can be integrated into retail display and exhibition systems, signage, architecture and design features or used to illuminate decorative glass and other materials.
bluu Solutions statement: “We were asked by Karmarama to focus on their customer’s journey through the space, starting with the branded automatic door opening onto a magnificent ‘light tunnel.’ When one of our designers came up with the idea of the tunnel, we sought professional advice, which Applelec duly offered. The control ability that allows the tunnel to suite with other effect lighting around the office, such as the center stage, has come to be known on site as the ‘wiz-bang device’ that offers color change, pulsing, stepping and any number of combinations of wizardry.”
Whilst impact is the defining requirement of the project brief, the tunnel has been created according to energy-efficiency principles. Control is a key element of the installation, and with the tunnel split into 40 individual LED Light Sheet sections it is possible to run any panel in isolation to reduce power consumption. This is of particular benefit outside office hours when just a few panels need be illuminated to provide light through the tunnel. Adjacent to the tunnel, Karmarama’s reception desk is illuminated by a further five RGB LED Light Sheet panels, again utilizing an efficient LED system which draws just 42 watts when set to a static red, green or blue.
Complementing the signature light tunnel, bluu Solutions created playful light features such as circus-style neon signage and a center stage area with full lighting rig. In the remainder of the office scheme, the refurbishment utilizes the existing space to maximize natural light penetration.
Established in 1998, Applelec is a northern UK manufacturing company renowned for the creation of sophisticated fabricated signage and the manufacture of groundbreaking lighting products, such as the award winning LED Light Sheet. Alongside in-house manufacturing, Applelec sources and adapts innovative products to deliver imaginative project solutions. Applelec serves customers from two factories in West Yorkshire and offices in Bradford and Tring, Hertfordshire.