Tower of London
Site Location: Tower of London
Name: Iain Ruxton and Colin Ball
Can you tell us more about yourselves?
We both started with Jonathan Speirs and Mark Major within a few weeks of each other in 1996, Iain in Edinburgh and Colin in London.
We were both very lucky not only to join an emerging practice at this time but an emerging industry. We’ve both witnessed our industry change dramatically in that time with the projects around the world that we’ve been involved with. Colin is now at BDP Lighting, whilst Iain remains at Speirs + Major as the longest serving member of staff after Mark. We are both fairly recent recruits to the Society, having been shamed into action by the President.
Why did you want to be involved in NOHL?
This is a unique opportunity to bring World Heritage and a Historic Moment celebrating a century since Einstein made Light the prime constant of our universe. This is also an opportunity to demonstrate that we as an industry can put our love of light and its power to reveal and inform before other issues. We are not only corporate competitors, but a Scot and an Englishman too! Our friendship transcends both these divides, however, so when Liz Peck first persuaded Iain to be involved, Colin was an obvious choice of collaborator. To have two practices work together on this is surely in the spirit of the IYOL!
Colin: I cycle past the site twice a day. When I was a child this was the first place I visited, I’ve always had a fascination with living history and this is one of the few places that you can get close up and personal to the British near mythology of the Tudor period on particular. I also have an unhealthy love of jewellery and this is the most famous collection in the world. Not only that I’m looking to get a pet raven.
Iain: It’s such a central building to British history and to the psychogeography of London, one of the buildings that defines the city. You can’t live in London and not feel its significance. Count me in for a raven too.
What are you plans for illuminating the Tower of London?
The Tower of London has contained and secured a central part of the British identity for almost a millennia, during which the Tower has constantly evolved.We would like to evoke the changing lighting conditions of this long history. The Tower today is a living functioning fortress, still housing the Crown Jewels and Mace, the prime symbols of Crown and Governance. We want to show the presence of what this Tower guards for our collective identity, and that right here is the shining heart of the nation.