Enter a world of wonder as Architects of Air’s Luminarium comes to Leicester

This July visitors can lose themselves in a labyrinth of colour, shapes and winding tunnels as Architects of Air’s Luminarium by Alan Parkinson comes to the city’s Green Dragon Square.

The luminarium is a giant inflatable maze called Katena, and is one of a number of luminaria that tour the world. The event in Leicester has been adapted to ensure it is covid safe for visitors.

With a stunning kaleidoscope of colours, shapes and subtle sounds, visitors to the luminarium should be prepared for an awe-inspiring experience like no other. Previous visitors have reported that entering the structure is like being transported to another world.

The immersive art installation is brought to the city thanks to funding from BID Leicester, with Big Difference Company producing the event. BID Leicester Director Simon Jenner, said, “I first heard about the luminarium in 2018 when I joined the BID, and since then I’ve been eager to bring it to Leicester.

“Such an interesting and visually impressive artwork will attract people into the city centre during the school holidays and continue to raise the profile of Leicester as a place to experience world-class arts and culture.

Architects of Air, photo by John Owens

“It’s great to be able to hold events in the city after a year of restrictions. Luminarium was the first event we had to postpone when the pandemic hit, so it is a great boost for both the team and the city to finally be able to welcome visitors to experience this fantastic artwork. I can’t wait to see people enjoying the city centre and businesses benefiting from additional footfall thanks to events like these.”

Since the first luminarium was exhibited in 1992, more than 3 million people in over 40 countries have enjoyed the architectural installations, which are a mesmerising experience for kids and adults alike.

Alan Parkinson said, “A lot has changed in the 27 years since we were last in the city and it’s wonderful to be able to bring a luminarium back to Leicester – something I have been wanting to do for a long time. With each new luminarium we design, we experiment with different forms and aim to make every structure more beautiful than the last. Eggopolis – the first design I toured under the Architects of Air banner – was very popular at its showing in Leicester in 1994, so I hope the people of Leicester will enjoy Katena just as much.”

The installation will be in the city’s Green Dragon Square open every day from 21-25 July. The structure is suitable for all ages and is accessible for wheelchair users, making it the perfect activity for all the family.

Architects of Air. photo by Chang Ying Tan

Event organisers are taking precautions to ensure the event is a safe and enjoyable experience for all the family. Visitors will have timed entry tickets to control number of attendees and ensure physical distancing. Advanced ticket sales are encouraged to help reduce queuing on the site, but walk-up tickets are available to purchase by card payment only. A one-way system will be in place to help guests navigate their way through the structure, which will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. Hand sanitiser will be available on site and masks must be worn by all, unless exempt.

The luminarium is suitable for all ages and accessible for wheelchair users. Whilst all visitors are welcome to attend the luminarium at all times, there are some specially scheduled sessions available for those who would like a more controlled environment, including adults-only, accessible and dementia-friendly sessions.

Adult tickets cost £6, with concessions at £4.50 and group tickets for 2 adults and 2 children costing £16. As a gesture of gratitude to the NHS workers that have looked after us all, NHS key workers will be eligible for concession rate. Children under 2 can enter the structure for free.

Advance tickets are available now from bidleicester.co.uk/luminarium

Main Image: Architect of Air photo by Loewen Photographie

Credit line: Architects of Air’s Luminarium by Alan Parkinson is brought to you by BID Leicester and produced by Big Difference Company. Thanks to Colourbank carpets for their support. Find out more about Luminaria at architects-of-air.com

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