SPEIRS + MAJOR CREATES AN ENTHRALLING JUXTAPOSITION BETWEEN CONTEMPORARY AND HISTORIC ELEMENTS
Luminaries of the lighting profession gathered at the elegant Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia, PA USA on 22 May to honor the winners of the 36th Annual International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) International Lighting Design Awards. Twentythree projects from 12 countries were on display—including exteriors, interiors, workspaces, museums, hospitality sites and a place of worship. This year’s winners represent some of the most innovative and inspiring architectural lighting design work found anywhere in the world.
The design of Gasholders London in London, England UK with lighting design by Speirs + Major, took home an IALD Award of Excellence.
A soft glow envelops and emanates from the 145 apartments in a triplet of buildings that comprise Gasholders in London.
Designers from Speirs + Major use the play of light and shade to juxtapose the old and the new, the industrial architecture of the three historic cast-iron frames and the contemporary interiors of the residential development.
One judge described the project as “an enticing concept realized absolutely into an enthralling reality.”
Through close collaboration with the architects, engineers and contractors, the lighting design demonstrates a focus on integration with few visible fixtures and an intentionally integrated approach. The few fixtures that are visible reflect the design of the building by being in the form of custom unique glowing tubular lanterns.
Multiple lensed LED sources highlight the architecture, flowing up the front face of the columns. These lights are magnetically attached to the cast-iron to avoid damaging the historic frames and minimize spill light through the windows. This allows the center external space to shine so the frames appear positively lit, like a glowing heart.
Other external lighting exists on the rooftop garden where custom lanterns create focal areas without disrupting views of London. The warm light intentionally recalls gaslight, acting as a historic reference to the former purpose of Gasholders London and its surrounding area.
The interior lighting shows the same attention to detail. As multiple judges commented, this attention “was very well executed throughout the project.”
A simple wash of tunable white light illuminates the atria from a concealed cove. The lights are programmed to shift based on the time of day allowing residents and visitors to reflect on the sky above and the artificial light below.
The atria also feature linear lighting set beneath wedge-shaped internal landscape elements which provide functional light. From above on the upper floors, residents see forms that resemble the internal landscape around them.
As night falls, the glass dome and structure are left dark, transforming them into a mirror that creates a kaleidoscope for further reflection, serving artistic function regardless of time of day.
In contrast to the sharper industrial exteriors, the apartment lighting is softer, more human while still functional. Each apartment has a custom-designed entrance light with a paper filter that sits within a textured diffuser. This choice demonstrates the designers’ desire to reproduce both human and industrial scale throughout the site and project.
Speirs + Major’s reflections on the contrast between human warmth and industrial might and how easily the two combines are seen in the singular vision behind this scheme—curves, refraction and integration.
London, England UK
Mark Major, FIALD
Neville de Sa
Speirs + Major
Wilkinson Eyre Architects
Interior Architecture for the Apartments
Jonathan Tuckey Design
Environmental / M&E Engineers
© Peter Landers (Images 01, 05)
© James Newton (Images 03, 04, 06, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
© Speirs + Major (Image 02 – sketch + Image 07 – mock-up photo)