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‘The building has and will be around longer than the lighting and the designer must work around obstacles

and find solutions.’ Jonathan Rush, executive lighting designer at Hoare Lea Lighting

Hoare Lea’s scheme for St George’s Church in London.

would not have considered the effects and visual hierarchy associated with a modern artificial lighting scheme, so the positions of candle sticks serve as a guide to what should be illuminated. As such the drama, narrative, low illuminance, high contrast, warm light associated with candle light is the visual reference upon which a new lighting scheme for a historic church should generally be designed.’ Rush says there are a number of issues

related to preservation and lux hours to consider if the space has important artefacts or antique furnishings. ‘With daylight and sunlight spilling

through stained glass windows, churches must have been some of the most interesting and magical places to visit in the days before electric light, and reinforcing that impression with artificial light is a natural progression,’ believes Rush.

St George’s Church is the sixth and final London Church designed by English Baroque Architect, Nicholas Hawksmoor. The World Monument Fund of Britain has undertaken a programme of restoration work, and Hoare Lea Lighting was asked by WMF, on behalf of St. George’s Church Parochial Church Council, to re-establish a lighting identity.

A sympathetic lighting impression now enhances the architectural features, creating a visual identity in keeping with the iconic nature of the church and


providing a suitable illumination level for visitors. The new central feature – an 18th century brass chandelier on long loan from the Victoria & Albert Museum – is lit by a high level lighting element, the ’Corona’, which is suspended above the chandelier to illuminate the nave.

BDP has been working its magic on the lighting scheme for Chester Cathedral. The design firm issued Stage D in October 2010 and the first phase of the project, which is currently being detailed, includes a small amount of interior lighting, the feature façade elements and public realm. The City and the Cathedral through partnership are aiming to transform the Cathedral into the heart of a new cultural quarter within Chester. ‘An internal lighting masterplan was developed to enable a consistent approach to the phased refurbishment throughout the Cathedral. Coloured plans describe the atmosphere and light level taking into account architectural elements and the history of the space,’ explains Karen Ihlau, senior lighting designer at BDP. ‘The cloister areas, with their private and contemplative atmosphere, are designed to retain their medieval qualities whereas the Cathedral itself as a place of public gathering, worship and celebration will receive higher light levels and a high degree of control to enable variation of lighting scenes for specific events.’ The softly illuminated tower is visible from

the distance as the main beacon. A soft wash of light onto the facades at ground and first floor level will provide an atmospheric backdrop to the rejuvenated landscape areas. The big four main stained glass windows will be backlit. ‘The new public realm lighting is directly linked to the landscape design, follows the curved walls and handrails enhancing them with integrated lighting and highlights the landscape elements such as benches and trees. The street lighting in front of the Cathedral will be removed and relocated to the other side of the street de-cluttering the space,’ continues Ihlau. These buildings are truely breathtaking, and the lighting schemes help bring out the best features whilst also providing lighting for various tasks and events.


BDP 020 7812 8000

Dernier & Hamlyn 020 8760 0900 Design In Progress 07939 075 115 Hoare Lea Lighting 020 7890 2500 Sutton Vane Associates 020 8563 9370


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