TOPSHOP CRYSTAL

Client: Topshop
Location: Oxford Circus, London
Status: Built 2015
Technical Consultant: Tom Lynch
Fabrication: Caesarcraft
Photography: Jamie Smithers

“Crystal” marks the third year in succession that NEON have completed the flagship stores Christmas window. This year’s offering marks a particular innovation in the way it employs sound, light and sculpture to stop the passers-by on Oxford Street in their tracks.

The project is a large pulsating crystal-like form that is designed to appear like it is in constant motion, bursting from a shattered mirror floor on which the mannequins sit. This dramatic effect is achieved using 130 acrylic light filled spikes which have been mounted on a protruding base frame and fixed using brackets rotated to different angles to give the installation a naturalistic appearance. 4 types of cladding - iridescent, white, frosted and mirror are distributed in patches across the crystal form to further emphasise the natural appearance of the piece.  

From a technical standpoint the project is particularly complex. As well as the utilisation of sound which is pumped onto the street using 8 window mounted speakers, the installation outputs over 400,000 lumens of light, equivalent to over 500x 60 watt incandescent bulbs. This was achieved by using an ultra-bright 1.3m LED strip which is mounted to the inside of each of the 130 crystals. These are controlled through a DMX control system originally developed for theatre productions. The heart of the system is a MacBook Pro running Vezér, a timeline and control application that allowed control of the brightness of every light in synchronisation with a bespoke sound track which was created specifically for the window.