Lighting Design and Light Art Magazine Image    BBC Scotland HQ by Speirs and Major Associates bbc3

Here is yet another awarded project by Speirs and Major Associates. The HQ of BBC Scotland, Glasgow/UK  project was recognized with an Award of Merit on International Association of Lighting Designers awards, 2009.

Lighting Design and Light Art Magazine Image    BBC Scotland HQ by Speirs and Major Associates bbc1

Detailed information by  Speirs and Major Associates follows:

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Client: BBC Scotland
Architect: David Chipperfield and Keppie
Interior architect: Graven Images
Lighting architect: Speirs and Major Associates
Electrical contractor: Northern Light
Photographer: James Newton

Lighting Design and Light Art Magazine Image    BBC Scotland HQ by Speirs and Major Associates bbc2

Speirs and Major Associates was commissioned directly by the BBC in 2007 to develop a lighting scheme for David Chipperfield’s headquarters building for BBC Scotland.

One of the core aims was to enhance BBC Scotland’s brand identity, supporting its TV, radio, digital and educational services. The challenge was at the same time to complement the spirit of the building and integrate the lighting with the architectural form and detail. It was also important for the lighting not to appear as if it was simply a bolt-on solution. Finally, the BBC’s stringent requirements for ease of maintenance, sustainability and controlling capital cost meant that the solution had to be robust, easy to maintain, energy efficient and provide good value.

Lighting Design and Light Art Magazine Image    BBC Scotland HQ by Speirs and Major Associates bbc7

The basis of the lighting concept was to suggest the creative spirit of the BBC by revealing the ‘inner workings’ of the building after dark. The analogy was that the building’s appearance by day was like a television that is turned off. After dark the building is ‘turned on’ and filled with colour and life.

Lighting Design and Light Art Magazine Image    BBC Scotland HQ by Speirs and Major Associates bbc6

The main component of the scheme was the dramatic illumination of the crown of the building. This was done using colour-change LED floodlights, addressable for maximum flexibility. Speirs and Major Associates programmed a series of colour-changing scenes for different days of the week but the BBC’s own in-house lighting designers are able to reprogramme the system for special occasions such as Red Nose Day, St Andrew’s Day, Christmas and so on. This ever-changing scheme is offset by the constant white lighting of the main satellite dishes that top the building, reinforcing a sense of permanent connection to the rest of the world.

Lighting Design and Light Art Magazine Image    BBC Scotland HQ by Speirs and Major Associates bbc4

Another key element of the scheme involved wallwashing the principle walls of the studios and other internal environments with dimmable linear fluorescent. These walls are painted bright colours based on the palette agreed between the lighting designer, the interior designer and the client. This greatly adds to the sense of display once darkness falls, while also providing an internal visual identity to different departments within the organization.

Lighting Design and Light Art Magazine Image    BBC Scotland HQ by Speirs and Major Associates bbc5

Finally, special lighting was provided to the Central Technical Area so that it could be viewed by the public at night. The CTA is the nerve centre of BBC Scotland, containing the various servers and other equipment that support digital broadcasting. Unless it is being maintained, the lighting is generally off. Additional colour lighting was provided within the space for periods of the evening to draw attention to and help identify the space when seen from outside.

The final exterior lighting identity was achieved within an energy target of less than 0.5W/square metre demonstrating that it is possible for a major workplace building to have a strong external image without necessarily consuming large amounts of energy.

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Note of the editor:

Please note the copyright of these images is retained by Speirs And Major Associates and the photographer James Newton. Use of those images is subject to them being used for this article only. Publication of any image in any form or fashion must include a credit for both Speirs And Major Associates and the photographer.

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