Published on: January 7, 2011
Lighting Design International recently completed lighting design for The Savoy hotel in London/UK. It was part of a complete restoration of the hotel.
The brief for the project was two fold; for the exterior of the building to provide a classical enhancement of the architecture and for the interior to provide a warm, luxurious and intimate feel within the main public areas.
More information from LDI follows:
LDIās general philosophy for the project was to employ light fixtures that were either small, low glare and innocuous in appearance in order to play down the appearance of the light fixture itself and to play up their effect and ambience they generate.
North FaĆ§ade, Savoy Row and Savoy Court
The existing lighting was looking tired and was lacking in places. It was agreed that it would all be changed to give the hotel a new lease of life and to bring it into the 21st Century.
The main area where the lighting was lacking was in Savoy Court outside the main entrance which could hardly be seen from The Strand. Subsequently lighting was added to the pilasters adjacent to the entrance as a focal point, along with the lighting of a Lalique water feature. The existing back-lit acrylic lighting feature had to be retained and was completely renovated using warm white cold cathode tubing which enables it to be dimmed in the evening to create a more subdued ambience to the area and enable the features to stand out.
The faĆ§ade lighting was changed from sodium and cool white metal halide to warm white CDM discharge. All lights are fitted with louvers to reduce glare and stray light. The flag poles and the statue of the count were also illuminated.
One aspect LDI influenced was the finish of the lay light ceiling in Savoy Court. This is irregular in its design and was white in colour making it quite unattractive and so in order that the eye is not drawn to it, we proposed that it was painted out black which puts greater emphasis on the faĆ§ade and features within the space. It also enhances the view up through the lay light to the upper faĆ§ade from Savoy Court at night.
The light go the South FaĆ§ade was also changed from sodium and cool white metal halide to warm white CDM metal halide. The lights have also been repositioned to highlight different architectural features and provide greater emphasis to the top of the building which is visible from the bridges over the Thames.
The canopy to the riverside entrance has also been relit using a combination of lights to backlight and uplight the wave shaped glass and concrete structure to enhance its form.
The uplights to the underside of the canopy were custom made to provide a linear line of light across the canopy.
In order to fulfill the brief and create the desired intimate feel, warm white light sources were used throughout and lighting elements were layered to highlight features within the space. Energy efficient solutions were utilized where possible and where the effect was not compromised.
In general chandeliers and wall lights are heavily dimmed to provide a warm glow and low background general lighting. Table and standard lights are employed to provide a low scale task and general lighting. Low glare recessed downlights are employed to provide infill general light and accent lighting. Recessed uplights are used to highlight architectural features and cove lighting is employed to highlight ceilings and increase the apparent brightness of a space.
LED strip lights have been employed to provide concealed step ligting, backlighting of glass elements and shelf lighting.
For the main public areas, the most note worth points are as follows:
- The decorative pendants in the Entrance Hall (Lobby) incorporate three elements: a dimmable light source to backlight the alabaster bowl, a dimmable light source to uplight the ceiling and enhance the frieze at high level on the walls and almost invisible LED emergency lights built into the ceiling rose. This allows the brightness of the bowls to be balanced against the illumination of the ceiling.
- Custom-designed recessed LED uplights throughout the public areas. These were developed to fit within the 50mm floor depth available and consist of one, two or three LED clusters depending on the application. The uplights are used to highlight columns, pilasters, door architraves and reveals, fireplaces and wall niches.
- The back illumination of the Lalique bar front in the Beaufort Bar using two lines of concealed LED strip lighting.
- The back lighting of the glass dome in the Thames Foyer. In order not to simulate the daytime appearance of the dome and create too much flat light, it was decided to provide one line of cold cathode at low level around the perimeter that would highlight the stain glass panels at that level and allow the centre to be darker which also emphasizes its form. Lighting tests were carried out to review the effect.
- The linear LED luminares lighting the Art Deco wall panels at entresol level of the riverside stairs. These provide an accent/wall wash effect from within the existing cove.
- Lighting tests between LED and low voltage MR16 halogen downlights were carried out at the time of writing specifications and it was agreed that the best warm white LEDs at the time did not provide the same quality of light, ie warming when dimmed and colour rendering characteristics as the halogen, subsequently energy saving MR16 halogen lamps have been used throughout.
Chris Lewis, Principal Designer at Lighting Design International says āIt has been a pleasure to create this innovative scheme for such an iconic landmark and bring Pierre Yves Rochonās Edwardian and Art Deco Designs to lifeā.
Posted by: Mitja Prelovsek