Algorithmic Light Facade for NH Collection Madrid - CODAworx

Algorithmic Light Facade for NH Collection Madrid

Submitted by Lighting Design Collective

Client: NH Hotels Group

Location: Madrid, Spain

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $300,000

Project Team


Tapio Rosenius

Lighting Design Collective


NH Hotel Group


The project is a permanent exterior façade lighting scheme realized as part of refurbishment project for a large conference hotel in central Madrid, Spain. The client requested an eye catching exterior lighting scheme to communicate their new brand identity and to express the building in a modern surprising way.


The lighting draws its inspiration from the modernist architectural composition and the notion of movement present on the site. It seeks to create a focal point in the urban surroundings and to connect with the NH Collection brand philosophy summarized in their tag line “Feel Special”. It provides a welcoming experience for the guests and an experimental branding tool for the client. The piece relates to the urban rhythm through the pace of the light movement and the way it behaves in relation to time. The resulting movements and patterns are never quite the same with the composition, speed, direction, density and intensity shifting and changing as the time goes.


The light and shadows drift and flicker across the façade rhythmically tying in with the pace of the car and pedestrian flow. The light movement never repeats. Custom lighting control system referred to as "parametric content engine" was developed by LDC for the project using biomimicry algorithms to render the output in real-time with complex parametric inputs and triggers to create complexity familiar from flocking behavior of animals and fluid patterns such as surface of a river. In addition the system has a user interface that allows the client to introduce brand related communications and welcoming messages for specific clients.

Additional Information

All the lighting technology has been completely hidden from view and embedded into the architecture. Semi-translucent Krion ceramic tiles form the secondary façade and the white LED light seeps through this seemingly opaque and solid material as if by magic. The scheme has been realized with customized 2700K white LED exterior fixtures addressed internally every 300mm. Centralised server is used for mapping the content from special content engine software. The system is remotely monitored and allows for easy updates. The operator has a specific user interface in their disposal as does the maintenance team.