AAJ Press
Art Projects, Commissions, Commissions & Projects, Digital Media, Glass

Fields of Gold, Sensor City, Liverpool

field of goldFields of Gold is a 700sq.m glass façade artwork that reflects the ideas of sensor technology for Sensor City, an innovation centre in the Knowledge Quarter of the University Enterprise Zone in Liverpool, designed by artist Julian Stocks and glass manufacturer Ariño Duglass collaborating as ArtistFacade.com.

sensor-cityAriño Duglass, the glass laminator, working with Novum Structures, wrapped Sensor City’s exterior in an abstract pattern on the theme of sensor technology resembling computer chips. The abstract design on 300 double laminated insulating glass panels of 2500mm x1100mm each, utilises a palette dominated by gold, an element valued in electronics as a conductor. This silkscreened decoration takes the form of reflective metallic enamels applied in combination with a transparent gold interlayer that tints the supporting ivory and black enamels. No two adjacent panels are the same. This seemingly random sequence is controlled by the use of 73 print types selected for each of the panels.

The golden façade of Sensor City renders colour differently depending on the viewer’s location and amount of light. The view inside and outside the building can look different, as the glass was designed with day and night-time views in mind resulting in a dramatic change of appearance to the façade depending on the time of day and location of the viewer, inside or outside of the building.

Professor Joe Spencer of the University of Liverpool, provided a useful insight into a technological interpretation of the artwork. “The pattern on the veil represents the flow of sensor data in digital and analogue formats. The demarcation between the various segments could represent individual sensor channels as data flows from the sensor.”

“The sensor technology developed in this building will have a reach that is limited only by the imaginations of the scientists. This appeal to imagination finds form in the interpretations of the façade. Whilst the dominant evocation in the work is of data flows and the materials of electronics, it is important to encourage the broadest possible associations with the design, whether this is dazzle camouflage, a field of barley or photovoltaic cell.”  Julian Stocks

1.facade-a3ArtistFacade.com offers the property developing and architectural community a unique facility for the design and manufacture of glazed architectural façades. Artist and specialist glazing consultant Julian Stocks created an abstract design utilising a bespoke palette dominated by metallic gold, black and translucent ivory enamels, in combination with a gold tinted interlayer. He worked with the glass manufacturer Ariño Duglass to develop a glazed facade that celebrates the cutting-edge sensor technologies developed and produced at Sensor City, and promoted and used internationally.

ArtistFacade.com design and manufacture unique glazed façades to a given brief and at any scale. No two projects are alike, meaning this is an entirely bespoke service providing clients with originality and excellence for their architectural visions.

The glass was installed in 2017. Architects IBI Group, Novum Structures and engineers BuroHappold, facilitated this collaboration between artist and manufacturer. The main contractor was Kier Northern.

‘Fields of Gold’ was commissioned by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University with funding from the European Union European Regional Development Fund and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Sensor City, 31 Russell Street, Liverpool



JULIAN STOCKS, ASC Studio, 73B Fifth Avenue, Brixton Village Market, Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8PS

t: +44 (0)20 7738 6279  m: +44 (0)7816 932 349





About jeh

Jeremy Hunt is Director of the AAJ Press (Art & Architecture Journal / Press) – a writer and consultant on art and public space


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