Insight | Invigorating Industrial Architecture with light

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10|10|2023 - Over the years, we have developed after-dark masterplans and designed the lit image for several new and repurposed industrial sites. Using light, we create an experience and an after-dark identity to support their inclusion as a key part of the urban nightscape, revealing their stories and their rejuvenation. While heritage industrial sites have often been left derelict or overlooked, they are increasingly being redeveloped, driven by a move to more sustainable reuse of existing building fabric and also thanks to their intriguing and evocative appeal. Our approach reflects on their historical role and special importance to local communities.

Gasholders London, Gasholder Park, Kings Cross, London, UK

These listed cast iron structures have been a notable feature of the London landscape since the late 19th century. The vision from the masterplan saw a new apartment building constructed with three Gasholders, while one was left 'unfilled', becoming a pocket park. Our multi-award-winning lighting designs for these two projects reflected that duality in nature, and when viewed as a total composition, the positively lit frames of Gasholders London are the perfect contrast to the silhouetted frames of Gasholder Park.

BIO4, Copenhagen, Denmark

BIO4 is a collaborative intervention of architecture and light that celebrates Copenhagen's positive transition to sustainable energy. Viewed from across the harbour, dynamic light activates the unique forest-inspired façade of this wood-burning power station, creating a powerful yet softly nuanced visual identity. Within the façade itself, an immersive experience of warm, ever-changing ripples of light filter through the 6m layer of trunks, immersing visitors in the dappled light of a luminous forest, engaging them and helping to embed the building into the psyche and identity of the city.

Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience, Speyside, UK

Our lighting design for the Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience draws inspiration from the dynamic light qualities of the landscape and the Macallan whisky-making process to shape a highly memorable experience. Deeply integrated into every aspect of the project, the lighting delivers a strong sense of the brand, theatrical storytelling for the exhibition, character and ambience for the retail and hospitality areas, easy wayfinding and support for the technical practicalities of whisky production, all without compromise to any single aspect.  

Battersea Power Station, London, UK

A redevelopment project more than ten years in the making, we were privileged to design the lighting for the iconic Battersea Power Station internally and externally, supporting its new life as a mixed-use retail, hospitality, commercial and residential space. Topped by the beautiful illumination of the four famous chimneys, we highlighted key architectural elements to draw out the form, materials and main heritage features. In highlighting the details we are used to seeing during the day in shadow or silhouette, our design inverts the experience of the architecture as darkness falls, giving rise to an extraordinary new interpretation of this famous listed building.

Magna Science Centre, Rotherham, UK

Magna is set in the dramatic interior of a disused steelworks, a series of interactive exhibition pavilions themed around the elements needed for making steel: air, water, earth and fire. Our lighting - and darkness – plays a crucial role in supporting the exhibition, recreating a sense of the drama and danger of the original plant. In 2001 Magna won the prestigious Stirling Prize for Architecture.

Kings Cross, London, UK

It was a key tenet of the master plan for the redevelopment of the Kings Cross area in London to embrace industrial architecture as an essential part of the heritage and character of the area. Reflecting this in our lighting masterplan, we gave particular focus to the illumination of the surviving industrial heritage. This is in evidence in our lighting designs for Thomas Cubitt Warehouse, the Granary Building, Coal Drops Yard (2018-2020), and the German Gymnasium, all of which use warm 'gas-like' light and employ the use of contrast and grazing light to reveal the material quality of the brick and rhythmic nature of the architecture.

Zollverein Kokerei, Essen, Germany

As part of the government-backed transformation of this former coal mine and coking plant, we used light to evoke the heat and power of the massive machinery, telling the story of its past use while flagging the site as a point of interest for the education of future generations.