Site Location: Blaenavon Ironworks
Name: Ben Porter
Tell us about yourself, Ben:
I’ve been involved in the lighting industry for around 8 years now. I started out working predominantly on residential schemes, before moving to Hoare Lea Lighting and broadening my skills in other sectors. I have a real passion for external lighting and the impact it can have on its surroundings, users and local environment.
Why did you want to be involved in NOHL?
The Night of Heritage Light gives myself and the team at Hoare Lea Lighting a real opportunity to create a dramatic and interesting lit scheme without many of the restrictions that we normally have to deal with. We are also delighted to be involved with so many other great designers and look forward to playing our part in a night that showcases why we all enjoy our art form so much.
Anything exciting you have learnt whilst designing the site?
It wasn’t until we started to look at the Blaenavon Ironworks we realised just how much the site helped to shape not only the local area, but actually how it had an impact on the rest of the world. It’s been really interesting to research and we hope to do it justice on the night.
What are your plans for the evening?
What interested us about our UNESCO site was that it is actually the entire area, the town and the ‘industrial landscape’. We also learned how the community was developed around the ironworks and how when iron prices / demand dropped the community suffered. With this in mind we wanted our design to emphasise the link between the community and the ironworks. We managed to obtain a list of the people from the community around the time the ironworks was in operation and our intention is to print these names off and illuminate them individually with small LED tealights. They will be places around the base of the balance tower and we will also introduce subtle uplighting and other elements to link the balance tower and introduce varying scales to the scheme.