UNIT.City, Kyiv, Ukraine, 2019
Beacon is a new permanent public landmark in Kyiv, Ukraine. Created by British artist Sebastian Kite, made in partnership with UDP real estate development company and UNIT.City, the work is a light installation that transforms a former industrial chimney, situated in the heart of tech and innovation park UNIT.City, into a dazzling visual marker broadcasting a vertical beam of light. Standing 63m in height and projecting 3km into the sky, Beacon is the tallest artwork in Kyiv.
London-based Kite designed Beacon as a work that respects the heritage of the industrial site whilst offering an extraordinary spectacle of light. The site-specific installation blends art, light and architecture to create a positive and universal installation for Kyiv. Beacon consists of an array of high powered searchlights mounted inside the flue of the chimney. A fresnel lens draws the lights into a focused beam projecting vertically into the night sky. Ultrabright LED bands trace symmetrically the exterior sides of the chimney from base to summit.
The beam of light connects the ground, its history and the sky. It can be seen from near and from across the horizon of the city. The light is in tune with the earth, timed to the rise and setting of the sun. The installation pays respect to the heritage of the industrial site whilst also, projecting into the future in a timeless way. The chimney, which once expelled toxic fumes is being transformed into a unifying symbol of hope, employing light as a universal message to offer a point for contemplation, collectivity and community.
Sebastian Kite said of the installation “The essence of the Beacon was for a design that was simple, tangible and most importantly, feasible. The chimney is symbolic of Kyiv’s industrial era and development to where it stands today. It should be preserved as it is part of the city’s heritage and culture. In the wake of recent history in Kyiv and Ukraine it is important that this artwork serves a unifying symbol for the city and its bright future.”
Beacon sits at the heart of UNIT.City, an emerging tech and innovation centre in Kyiv that opened in 2017. Today it is one of the largest innovation centers in Europe. Aimed at supporting creative and young start-ups as well as leading-edge companies and set over 24 hectares, UNIT.City is expected to become the gateway to Ukrainian tech scene.
Dimensions: 63m x 8m x 8m, projection disance 3.5km
Media: xenon searchlighting, LED, aluminium, steel, custom programming
Lighting Partner: Expolight, UA
Architect: APA Wojciechowski, PL
Curators: Nadim Samman, Darya Koltsova
Photography: Sebastian Kite