City architecture: 

sculpting scenery with light

Bibao’s city Pavilion, 


Find out how a dynamic city sculpture was bought to life with light.
light sculpture represents Bilbao's evolution

A luminous masterpiece 

that allows the visitor to experience the evolution of Bilbao through a multimedia and interactive tour."
display the urban evolution of a city with light
display the urban evolution of a city with light

Customer challenge

For the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, the Spanish city of Bilbao was chosen out of 113 competing cities as a shining example of sustainable urban development. To celebrate this recognition, Bilbao representatives set up an installation explaining the city’s evolution at the event. But in order to do Bilbao’s achievements justice, something remarkable was needed for the centerpiece.
dynamic light sculpture

The right lighting


Bilbao’s installation at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, entitled ‘Bilbao Guggenheim’, celebrated the remarkable transformation the city has made over the last 25 years. Growing from a state of environmental deterioration and industrial crisis to become one of the Europe’s most attractive cities, Bilbao is a shining example of urban renewal. The centerpiece of the installation at the Expo, which was constructed by artist Esther Pizarro, was a huge sculpture of light and matter representing the city’s architecture.


Philips was proud to supply the light. The installation was designed as a ‘closed box’, in which illumination helps to create an entrancing experience. iColor Flex SL technology was chosen for dynamic lighting of the sculpture, enabling individual control of each LED. The resulting color effects, which changed and mutated in front of viewers’ eyes, allowed the artist to create boxes of lights and glowing networks of LEDs. With the aid of computer programming, these networks were used to create a luminous choreography that represented the transformation of the city.


Bilbao’s estuary was recreated using Philips Flexitube LED. More than 80 meters of glowing blue Flexitube were used, cutting a vibrant swathe through the city that gave a nod of recognition to the dragons of Chinese mythology. Control of the lighting effects was supplied by the Pharos LPC20 controller, which is programmed in harmony with the videos projected onto the walls. The end result was a breathtaking blend of art and light.


Philips provided the pavilion’s entire turnkey audiovisual solution, including dynamic lighting systems, control and programming, video projectors, content management software, audio effects equipment, and commissioning of the installation.

  • FastFlex LED module
    FastFlex LED module
    Philips FastFlex LED module offers high-quality, reliable, easy-to-use outdoor LED illumination for roads and urban street lighting. The system offers outstanding optical control a...

City architecture: sculpting scenery
with light

The team

Bilbao City Council


To website

Artemio Fochs, Carlos Lahoz, Inés Primo de Rivera




To website

Esther Pizarro

Model designer

Related cases


OSUM – Ontario Small Urban Municipalities

Blue Mountains, ON

May 03-05, 2017

AQME Annual Conference

Laval, QC

May 31 - June 1, 2017


UMQ - Union des municipalités du Québec

Montréal, QC

May 20-23, 2017


IOT Big data summit

Toronto, ON

May 23-24, 2017


AQME Annual Conference

St. Lawrence 

May 31 - June 1, 2017


ADGMQ Congress, Quebec 

Laval, QC

Jun 7-9, 2017

FCM – Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Ottawa, ON

Jun 01-04, 2017


AMO – Association of Municipalities of Ontario

Ottawa, ON

Aug 13-16, 2017


ATPA Annual Conference

Rimousk, QC

Sep 05-08, 2017


OEMC - Ontario East Municipal Conference

Kingston, ON

Sep 13-15, 2017


FQM (Fédération québécoises des municipalités)

Québec, QC

Sep 24-25, 2017


Union of British Columbia Municipalities

Vancouver, BC

Sep 25-29, 2017


ITS world Congress 2017 - smart city


Oct 29 - Nov 02, 2017


LED LightSavers - Road & Street

Toronto, ON

Oct 21, 2017


Alberta Urban Municipalities Association 

Calgary, AB

Nov 22-24, 2017


Association of Manitoba Municipalities


Nov 27-29, 2017







We're talking about