Telling the story of Kaohsiung by light The Tower of Light 用光訴說高雄的故事──高雄光之塔
From the end of May, along Love River, there is a new landmark which is colorful
New landmark of north Kaohsiung
Passers-by are enchanted and cannot help themselves from slowing down and taking a good look at this beautiful light tower. As a matter of fact, this was a high-voltage electric tower long time ago. During 1950s to 1970s, when Kaohsiung became a city of industry, high-voltage electricity was the backbone of industrialization. Thus, the high-voltage cable went right through the city space of Kaohsiung people's life. Not only did it play a highly important role in economic development, but it was also regarded as a symbol of prosperity and progress.
With the demand of modern people for a high-quality environment, the high-voltage electric cable in Kaohsiung City gradually found its way underground. The electric towers were also dismantled. By the finish, the whole electrical cable was underground and all the towers along the line were taken down.
Creative ideas from the community
The electric towers symbolize an important period of the history of electric power and of city development. Since history should not be forgotten, the City Government formulated the plan of keeping the fourth electric tower located in the square in front of Hakka Cultural Museum and also proceeded with the plan of rebuilding it. Under this plan, the architect studio in Sanmin District was put in charge of design and execution. The plan won the blessing of Taiwan Power Company. So, finally, the fourth electric tower remains and is given to Kaohsiung's citizens.
The Tower of Light regains its life like the legendary phoenix. It not only changes from black-and-white into color but also changes from the image of "No Climbing" in the past into that of a high three-floor watchtower. The climbing wall is also arranged so that energetic and active young people can have the same feeling as that of maintenance workmen climbing up to the top (45-meter high). With the careful and thoughtful designer's effort, the insulators on the tower become artistic devices like "Insulator Wall", "Insulator Pillars of Light", and so on.
The main feature of the Tower of Light is, of course, the light. The electric tower keeps a memory of city. Therefore, not only does the tower have the basic function of lighting, but it also adds the element of memory. By using light, the story of Kaohsiung is told.
All the way up the tower are light-emitting diodes (LEDs)─point-shaped lights fuelled by solar energy. Each night, the light emits automatically for four hours. There are hundreds of colors, variants on the primary colors, red, blue and green. These LED lights vary and portray different themes. For example, shining white lights form "the Memory of Fireflies", seven colors form "the Suite of the Rainbow", the tone of blue and green decorated with white forms "the Beauty of Ocean", and so on. During festivals and weekends, a shining-to-the-eyes projected light beam will turn round and round and gather all the energy inside the tower.
The tower once symbolized the golden years of Kaohsiung's period of heavy industry. Now, it transforms into north Kaohsiung's brilliant landmark. On the Tower of Light, people can see past history, the beautiful scenery of the present, and a future of unlimited hope.