Coventry Lighting Vision | City of Culture & Beyond 2021/2022,

Two decades on from our original lighting masterplan we created for Coventry City Centre, we were thrilled to be engaged by Balfour Beatty Limited and Coventry City Council to produce and support a renewed 'Lighting Vision' in support of their year as UK City of Culture 2021/2022 and looking to the future through the legacy of that event.
Balfour Beatty Limited, Coventry City Council
James Newton
Project Team
Mark Major, Philip Rose, Benz Roos

Building on our working knowledge and understanding of the area, we created a holistic vision for the experience after dark, drawing spaces, important buildings, landmarks and cultural projects together through a lighting framework. Referencing themes from the City of Culture - energy, innovation and dynamism - we created a backdrop for 2021 while including projects with legacy value, highlighting heritage, and creating special areas for social interaction while respecting moments of silence and darkness.

We realised that working with existing infrastructure would be vital in achieving the required impact within the timeframe: refurbishing, improving and repurposing the existing network as necessary and only adding to it when needed. Overlaid on this, we imagined a connected series of creative interventions and installations within each route, featuring bold and dynamic treatments to selected elements to inject a sense of youth, energy and movement.

Having helped identify several key projects, we developed strategies for a series of 'night-journeys' through the city, each with a different emphasis – culture, heritage, innovation and engineering.

Twenty-six projects were identified, ranging from small interventions to ambitious large-scale projects. Many of these have now been delivered by Coventry City Council, BBL and their partners. As lighting designers, we remained directly involved with the design of several projects...........”

Greyfriars Green

This important landscaped area has become a playful gateway that transforms the journey from the station to the centre city. Inspired by some of the city's colourful and well-loved interventions, such as the Morag Myerscough "Endless Ribbon' installation and the LGBT+ rainbow road crossing in Bull Yard, we envisaged a changing carpet of coloured light, with a palette that adapts according to the season. Mature trees are highlighted in white at key decision-making points in the route, creating a soft landscape setting for the colourful pathway.

The 3 Spires

Coventry's three famous spires: Christ Church, Holy Trinity Church, and the remains of the original St Michael's Cathedral. All were re-lit to glorious effect using modern LED technology.

It was a real privilege for us to engage in the upgrade and refurbishment of our original award-winning lighting schemes from the 1990s”

Concept Sketches drawn in 2000