Aldermanbury Square,
London, UK

Simplicity was the keynote for the lighting of this multi-award-winning office and public space development in the City of London.
Scottish Widows plc
Eric Parry Architects
James Newton
Project Team
Mark Major, Philip Rose

The textures are carefully revealed with a wash of light from both above and below.”

The redevelopment by Eric Parry Architects was designed to create a calmer pedestrian-focused space and has won Civic Trust and BCO awards, as well as being shortlisted for the 2009 Stirling Prize. Speirs Major was responsible for the public areas and external image.

The restrained exterior scheme picks out the belly of the building with a series of LEDs that create simple lines of light, with additional illumination at the crown of the building. Discreet metal halide fixtures in the soffit pick up the structural rhythm and also provide a general wash. As the lighting is part of the public realm, equipment had to be of an adoptable standard. Inside, the lighting picks up on the public lighting theme, but with the sources changing to a mix of metal halide and tungsten halogen. The dominant feature of the reception is a massive tapestry designed by the architect. The textures are carefully revealed with a wash of light from both above and below, using semi-recessed spots at the top, and buried uplights below.

Towards the evening, the general lighting is tuned down, providing a lower level background for the custom-designed, tungsten halogen task lighting, which is suspended over seating areas and reception desk.Throughout the project, light is judiciously applied to promote a feeling of personal safety – but without the need for high levels of illumination. ‘Everything is designed to create a sense of security,’ says Mark Major, ‘yet it still has the character of quite a moody scheme.’