Visitors have been able to experience the highlight of the Landscape Park since December 1996 – but only in the evenings. That’s when the British artist Jonathan Park's light installation immerses the old ironworks in a fascinating sea of light and colour.
The so-called full programme runs on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and on Bank Holidays. From Mondays to Thursdays a reduced programme is run, limited to the illumination of the three chimney stacks. For special functions the full programme sometimes is run on weekdays.
The programme is linked to a twilight switch which, as night falls, launches the start. This explains why in winter the installation often starts as early as 5 pm, whilst in summer it may start as late as 10 pm.
The time at which the light installation is switched off again varies. In summer the lights are extinguished at 3 am whilst in winter darkness falls at 1 am.
The ironworks is illuminated in red, green and blue. At the works these colours are reminiscent of the function of the individual parts of the plant: green stands for gas, blue for water and red for fire and heat. Look closely and you’ll see the industrial heritage of the former ironworks once again revealed in a truly exciting way.
Mondays to Thursdays:
Reduced programme from nightfall to 1 AM.
Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and on Bank Holidays:
Full illumination programme (changing scene every day) from nightfall to 1 AM.
The designer: Jonathan Park
The British light designer Jonathan Park is actually well-known for temporary installations – for example, at exhibitions, presentations or major concerts. And so his neon light creation in the Landscape Park Duisburg Nord is, as a permanent installation, is a bit of an exception. And yet it is no longer possible to imagine the Duisburg skyline without the colourful lights.
For more than 30 years Jonathan Park has been esteemed as a light designer, primarily for being so innovative and imaginative. He became really well-known in a collaboration with Mark Fisher which began in 1977. Their set designs for bands such as Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, U2, George Michael, Tina Turner, Bryan Adams and lots of other performers had a hypnotic visual impact on rock and pop. Their cooperation ended in 1994, Park turning his attention to new projects rich in the possibilities of self-expression.
The Landscape Park Duisburg Nord became one of these projects. In 1996 he installed as part of the International Building Exhibition Emscher Park (IBA) the light installation on the ironworks’ heavy plant. The countless coloured lights, flood lights, spots, strip lights and high pressure gas discharge lamps have been replaced with energy saving LED lighting since 2009, not only reducing costs but also creating a dynamic variety of ever-changing colours.