There is an illusion that workplaces need to have uniform lighting, be very bright and use cooler colour temperatures to increase productivity.
Humancentric workspaces that inhabit visual and sensory experiences are more comfortable and enjoyable to work in. The lighting for this sophisticated new-build UK office, incorporates both architectural and decorative lighting to great effect. Our Senior Designers Fiona Harvey and Vanessa Macedo discuss the crucial role the lighting played in creating an inviting and ambient environment within the workplace.
Although this project is a corporate environment, the clients were keen to create a more residential and hotel-like atmosphere, rather than a traditional stark office feel. The interiors shape the ambience of the space, and the lighting elevates these features as well as providing effective lighting solutions for general office requirements. Our brief involved transforming the project into a vibrant and stimulating space creating a sophisticated environment for employees to enjoy working in.
We were challenged meeting building regulations to BS Standards whilst being sensitive to the client brief, to provide a functional yet luxurious workspace. It was not only the lighting that played a crucial role to achieve this, but the controls philosophy was carefully considered to accommodate an all-round experience for all scenarios throughout the day.
The dramatic entrance is enhanced with lighting which emphasises its features as dusk falls. Using the modular, low-glare Contour Edge in 2700K, we were able to uplight the fantastic +10m wooden slatted wall and provide a focal point of interest. We worked closely with the fit-out team to carefully integrate the low level lights, by concealing them within a skirting detail to seamlessly blend in with its surround. For the centre of the atrium we specified a spherical hanging pendant from Cameron Design House, which is installed into the pitched ceiling creating a dramatic view from day to night.
In keeping with the interior design and rich colour schemes chosen by Stefa Hart and the team at Hambleton Decorating, we enhanced the textures and finishes with warm tones and layering of light. We collaborated closely with Hambleton Decorating and T&C Joinery where special attention was required in the bespoke joinery. Within the more classical private office of one of the Directors, the warm tone of the joinery is a key feature. Although the executive office suites each had their own identity and theme, we wanted to create a harmonious connection between theses spaces, by keeping the joinery as the focal feature. We selected Etta eyelid under-cupboard lights for accent lighting to paintings and ornaments layered with Contour HD27, set vertically to each unit providing a gentle ambience and added depth to the space.
By contrast for another Director’s more contemporary take on the classically styled office, we aligned the lighting with the personal style of the room. In this modern space we heightened the expanse of the room, using Contour HD27 linear strip discreetly hidden within the coffer ceiling perimeter providing a warm ambience. Polespring 40 downlights are used for accent lighting on key features.
The clients had several pieces of artwork which they were to maximise and also to add to the warm and welcoming environment. Strategic planning and coordination of the location and positioning of these artworks in advance ensured we could light them to best effect. We selected our Polespring 40 and Polespring 30 with specific beam angles and tilt angles which were key in lighting each art piece dramatically.
Within one of the breakout areas, pre-set scenes are configured to accommodate the different functionality and mood for its employees. For a more dramatic scene, the objects on the table are directly cross-lit with pin-spot Polespring 40 downlights, when the main decorative lighting is off.
For a brighter scene during the day, the array of bespoke hanging pendants from Cameron Design House add another dimension to the scheme, evoking a different sensation within the space. Working closely with Cameron Design House in the early planning stages of the project, we were able to carefully coordinate a smooth blend between the decorative and architectural lighting scheme.
The corridor and interlinking areas have limited natural daylight so lighting plays a pivotal role to enhance the environment. Rather than purely adding downlights to this area, we created an ambient light within the circular coffers which are then supported by selectively placed Polespring 40 downlights. Lucca 30 uplights are used to discreetly highlight the textured walls within the corridors, bringing contrast and visual appeal of light and shadow.
The vibrancy and shape of the kitchen allows for a more intimate space. With minimal use of downlights, we introduced soft layers of light via decorative wall lights and integrated lighting to the floating shelves. Contour HD27 is used for task lighting during the day for practical purposes and backlighting in late afternoons to creating a silhouette effect to objects on display.
Luxury office lighting, technology and design go hand in hand. Automated smart lighting systems, equipped with motion sensors, can help conserve energy while offering the user a seamless experience. The Lutron control system used on this project allowed different settings for various rooms, including in the board room. A scene is set for meetings, as well as a more dramatic scene set for events or presentations. In this room, Polespring 30 downlights are controlled via the presentation setting, so that each seat has a pinpoint of light down onto the table for notes to be read whilst the rest of the room is darkened.
Luxury office lighting goes beyond functionality, shaping the ambience and atmosphere of the office environment. By allowing for controlled scenes, it provides a simple and user-friendly experience, with the perfect balance of ambient, accent and task lighting. Attention to detail such as lighting joinery and artwork has elevated the project to the extraordinary.