Matt Liggins Studio 3 The Euclidean Tower

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    matt liggins
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Angus Muir Design, Cass Goodwin, Rollercoaster Designs, Alistair Munro, Jared Barrow, Ben Spencer, Jeff Goh, Brendon O'Donoghue, Tristan Gray, Warren Pene
  • Client
    Splore Festival

The Euclidean Tower reflects on and teaches the public the history of the creation of modern geometry with a 9.7m high, timber and polycarbonate kaleidoscopic light installation, which was designed for the three-day Splore music and arts festival in Tapapakanga Regional Park, Orere Point in late February this year.

Inspired by Euclid, an ancient Greek mathematician who invented drawn point line plane geometry in 300 BC, the Euclidean Tower has the spherical light at its apex representing the point, and a post representing the line. The ascending sacred geometric plane lights are reflected in the interior walls of the rectangular kaleidoscopic tower.

The sacred geometry in the kaleidoscope is also inspired by the ceiling of the Hall of the Two Sisters in the Palace of the Lions in La Alhambra in Granada Spain. The shape of The Tower is derived from the Kutubiyya Minaret Tower in Marrakesh Morocco, both of which were visited on the Auckland University Architecture School Study Tour in 2019.

The public are initially attracted to the Tower due to its vertical presence and continuously changing coloured lantern body. They enter through one of the arches to observe the multi-dimensional kaleidoscope and the constantly evolving reflected images above. This is the eureka moment of realising that you can see the top point light, through the aperture at the top, which is now centred in a multitude of reflected sacred geometry inside the tower.

This interactive light structure is comprised of eight ascending in scale, programmed LED geometric lights which constantly change colour so that no two public experiences and photographs inside the tower are the same.

The tower was constructed using 32mm treated plywood sheets which were CNC cut into each structural component. The timber was stained for added protection and then assembled into hollow boxes, which were lined in twin wall polycarbonate. Off the shelf metal strap cross bracing, protects the tower boxes from lateral wind forces, the bottom booth with two sided arches has a structural beam on top to transfer the loads to the double corner studs. Each box has plane shape light fixed on a sheet on clear Perspex which is bolted through into the next box.

The booth is fixed into a large plywood base plate with ground anchors, then a ramp is installed for easy access. Each box was lifted on to the box below with the HIAB crane and bolted together. Plastic coated tension cables were connected through eye bolts to circular base plates and fixed with ground anchors in each corner of the site. The Installation took just two hours to install and deinstall, with one of the crew undeterred by the height, climbing at 10m ladder to connect the power cables to the transformer box hidden under the ramp.

The tower was funded by Splore music festival and is designed to be exhibited at future light festivals, museums and sculpture parks to educate, inspire, and amaze the public on the forgotten and often overlooked invention of drawn geometry in world. Let’s hope the tower inspires the younger generation, to draw, design, build and dream.