“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.’ And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.’ And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe, lying in a manger.”
Luke 2: 13-16
Photo seen on my Manc* buddy Andy’s blog
(oh, yes, he’s a published poet, check out his books here – perfect for gift-giving, IMHO)
“Whoa, what are those odd round-y tilted buildings?” I asked him in the comment section.
To which he responded with a link to something called NOMA Earth Tubes.
NOMA? What the heck is that?
He further elaborated,
“The atrium is fundamental to the building’s ventilation strategy. Each of its three corners houses one of the building’s vertical service cores. Some 50m3/s of fresh air is sucked into the building from its landscaped forecourt through three giant earth tubes buried beneath the building; this helps temper the air, cooling it in summer and warming it in winter. Air is heated or cooled in a huge basement plant room before giant fans push it up the service cores to the floor plates.”
Sufficiently curious, I clicked on his link reference thus beginning a fun google research journey for this lady on a pleasantly cozy, rainy Saturday afternoon.
At first the photos in and of themselves were delightfully mind-bending
NOMA Earth Tubes at night
with accompanying explanatory text,
“Cundall Light4 was appointed by The Co-operative and Hermes to provide the lighting design for the three earth tubes adjacent to the new Co-operative Group office at 1 Angel Square in Manchester.”
Ah, so that’s what Andy’s response was referring to…those Earth Tubes are fully functional building maintenance machine-structures.
As I continued reading, the melding of science, industrial needs and a city’s desire to offer an artistic skyline got my granola-tree-hugging-hippie-soul to singing.
Reading further, integrated into the Earth Tubes are lighting elements which are programmed with a series of vibrant animations, images of poppies for remembrance day, and programmed to create a shadow of the people dancing in front of the earth tubes.
Oh let me do my Dance of Joy! – buildings joining with me in my happy celebrations.
This is not a stagnant installation. Manchester plans on offering future programming to students and artists.These Earth Tubes are life-giving in physical purpose as well as for the whole of a human being.
And now, what about NOMA? Maybe NOMA has something to do with MAnchester. A quick google research turns up over 6 different acronym references; none of which refer to anything related to the Earth tubes or Manchester.
Reading between the lines, I realized NOMA stands for NOrthern MAnchester.
And yes, I left the best discovery for last. Here’s a short YouTube of the NOMA Earth Tubes – Cundall Light4. Please enjoy and picture this lady twirling round and round and round and round in her modest but freeing Dance of Joy.