Exchange Square,
London, UK

A warmly evocative blend of light and darkness reveals and enhances the multi-level topography and curved landscape elements of this unique urban park after dark.
British Land
Architect, Urban Designer and Landscape Architect
Project Manager
Stace Project Management
Structural Engineer
Ecology Consultant
Access Consultant
David Bonnett Associates
Project Team
Mark Major, Benz Roos, Neville De Sa, Justyna Ashcroft

Working with the natural texture, changing colours and movement in the foliage, stone, wood and water, our lighting focuses on enhancing the sensory aspects of the park design, encouraging people to slow down, take note of their beautiful surroundings, and enjoy a tranquil moment in the city.”

Supporting intuitive wayfinding and open access, much of the lighting is low height, preserving an intimate ambience that encourages easy social interaction. At the perimeter, light for circulation is provided from columns at a human scale while low-level bollards reveal the internal routes and low-level planting.

Across the multi-level site, light is beautifully integrated within landscape elements to improve legibility and contribute to a warm ambience. An even wash reveals the dark metal vertical face of the curving 'ribbon' retaining wall that runs through the park, while the slatted timber benches are softly lit from beneath. 

Slots cut into the faces of the terrazzo step seating and water feature glow, the water flowing over the light slots to create mesmerising patterns and ever-changing ripples. 

The tallest elements in the park, the two rows of mature silver birch trees, are lit from within to create shifting patterns of rustling foliage and branches on the ground. The colour of the light adjusts tonally with each season, with warmer white light enhancing the rich autumn leaves and bare wooden branches in autumn and winter and fresher cooler white light celebrating the green buds and vibrant leaves of spring and summer.