Project team:

Client: Rockpoint
Architect: Fletcher Priest/UK
Lighting design: Speirs and Major Associates/UK, Andrew Howis


Products applied:

Uplights archways: 20 watt CDM-T luminaires, Louis Poulsen Trees/planters in central courtyard: SPR Projector, Louis Poulsen Fluorescent lamps passageways: Lumilux T5 High Efficiency, 830 warm white
Osram Gobo projectors: 150 watt CDM Exterior gobo projector, Altman
Projectors: 250 watt exterior projector, deep white beam, Sill
LEDs above pool: Starcloth, Acre Jean Projectors, ceiling: Artemis, ACDC
LEDs in handrails: custom design, Mike Stoane Lighting

02. Dec 2009

Inside outside – striking the balance

Text: David Müller
Photos: James Newton

They say that in London people exchange more information over a couple of beers after work than via e-mail. Be that as it may, going ‘down the pub’ for a chat and a laugh is the way many Brits choose to spend their free time. Since British weather is not always reliable, most of the social drinking goes on inside pubs and bars rather than outdoors. At Devonshire Square in London/UK people can eat and drink outside whenever they fancy. The location is based in and around some old 18th century warehouses; the inner courtyard has received a roof so weather is never an issue. To ensure the atmosphere was right the architects commissioned Speirs and Major Associates to design the lighting. The lighting design addresses the different design elements inherent to the courtyard and ties them into a solution that generates the kind of space people readily adopt as a comfortable, friendly meeting place.

Devonshire Square is a modern business estate with a unique historical past. A short distance from London’s Liverpool Street station, this group of grade-II listed buildings forms a quiet campus environment designed for work, dining and shopping. What makes the estate all the more special is its link to London’s commercial past. The twelve 18th century buildings were once the warehouses of the East India Company and were used to house silks and spices traded from India and Asia. Today, the site offers a rare glimpse of London’s surviving commercial heritage. In the late 1970s the site was redeveloped and became a high-profile office scheme. In 2006, new owners developed plans for a wider mixture of uses. Architects Fletcher Priest were engaged to review the site. They developed proposals to improve the efficiency of the office spaces and to encourage active use after working hours. The estate was reconfigured to include residential and retail spaces. The courtyard of the building complex was covered to create an active public space for restaurants and alfresco dining. The architects recognized the importance that light would play in transforming Devonshire Square and suggested the appointment of Speirs and Major Associates to the design team. The lighting was required to support a number of strategic goals: to promote the estate as a serious business attraction, activate the site after working hours, highlight period features, and safeguard the original architecture. “We needed to raise our profile and attract more traffic – yet without compromising the character of the site in any way,” says Carsten Lund, the estate’s general manager. “One of the strengths of Devonshire Square is the sense of calm and tranquillity we offer our tenants – but at the same time we can’t be so quiet that the world just passes us by. […]
The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 69.

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