To kick off a major waterfront redevelopment initiative in Helsinki, the recently opened Finnish office of the Madrid-based Lighting Design Collective has converted an old oil silo into a an ever-changing, mural-sized Lite-Brite, programming a "bespoke software system" to switch 1,280 LED lights on and off according to local weather patterns. It must be hard to notice any order in all that chaos—unless its instructions are as simple as say, doing the wave at high tide—but maybe chaos is the point. With Silo 468, as the project is called, the only constants happen every midnight, when the lights turn red for an hour, and at 2:30 a.m., when the thing shuts off entirely after the last ferry departs for nearby Suomenlinna.
The interior is a painted a deep red, and if it weren't for the sunlight coming in through the perforations in the walls, the place would look rather macabre for a highly visible public art project, but even something like that probably wouldn't be beyond the pale for a design world darling like Helsinki. Meanwhile, in our fair country—where are oil silos are still fully stocked, thank you very much—missile silo homes are all the rage.