In January 2020 we were invited by Matthew Wilson Garden Design to work on this commercial project.
The brief was to work alongside the renovation for the landscape by illuminating the new planting and relighting the existing grounds such as the car parks which were also being relandscaped, but also both vehicular and pedestrian navigational lighting.
We loved working on this project as it involved a lot of the aspects that we usually only work on separately: from domestic-like gardens (although for public use) and recreational and relaxation areas for the staff working on-site to car parks and industrial lighting.
This company is very staff centered and it was really important to create a welcoming environment for their employees. This was a major factor for our lighting design as it meant looking for specific light fittings that would achieve the required illumination for a commercial and industrial setting with a more homely and domestic style. The client was really keen on avoiding grey lampposts and stark, sharp lines.
We achieved this by using luminaires with a more natural feel (thanks to materials such as wood that would blend in with the landscape), hidden lighting sources to avoid glare that is very common with industrial luminaires, plus smarter positioning to keep the lights as unobtrusive as possible.
The challenge here was to keep the homely atmosphere in mind while ensuring the optimum lighting levels set by BSI regulations needed for an industrial setting and car parks.
We were given plans and partial 3D models from the landscape designer, however, our team worked on these to make them compatible with the software we use to implement lighting photometry.
Photomotries could be described as the 3D model of a light source. When used in lighting calculation software these act very much like an actual light fitting and allow us to calculate and adjust the lighting levels accordingly (implementing dimmers, timers, etc…). Laying out the lighting on a plan is just the first step to a complete lighting design, as each luminaire can vary in power usage, optic, lumen output, efficiency, maintainability, colour temperature and much more, creating all these variables that make a lighting scheme complicated. This is where software, built specifically for lighting calculations, plays a fundamental role, as it’s the only tool that guarantees a project like this can be designed according to regulations.
For communal areas where the staff would enjoy breaks, such as courtyards or seating areas, we chose lighting fixtures used usually in domestic settings, that allowed the scheme for these areas to be homely and subtle. The main focus was to encourage employees to use these recreational areas in their breaks as the factory operates 24 hrs a day. Lighting is not just functional e.g., for cars to be safely parked or for trucks to unload, but it can bring people together by enhancing certain features of a space.
Finally, we also designed the lighting for the facade of the main building where the offices are based. This illumination was the combination of different levels and layers of lighting. The landscape worked as a background to soften up the facade, by creating lovely shadows.
For the building itself we decided to enhance the structure geometry by using feature lighting for the windows and wooden slabs.
Because of Covid-19 rlated issues, this scheme hasn’t been implemented just yet, however, the client loved the concepts and final design and hopefully we will be able to see this design come to life soon.