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Bernhard Bstieler wins Lighting Designer of the Year Award

12 March 2010 12.00 GMT

(UK) - From a low tech, low budget scheme for a beachside bandstand to a high-precision installation for the newest gallery at the British Museum, the eleven project winners at this year’s UK Lighting Design Awards represented the full range of contemporary lighting techniques.

The product innovation winners were equally cutting edge with all three featuring solid state technology.

The Lighting Designer of the Year award, sponsored by DW Windsor, went to Bernhard Bstieler, director of Inverse Lighting Design, a consultancy based in London and Bangkok. Inverse won an award for the sophisticated Sound Club in Phuket, Thailand (International category, sponsored by Oldham Lighting) and was commended for its edgy, low-budget East Central Gallery in London (Special Projects, sponsored by Cooper Lighting).
Bstieler was described by the judges as “an emerging talent” in lighting design and was commended for his “inventiveness” in a diverse range of schemes. “Regardless of the budget, Bernhard Bstieler exhibits great attention to detail, while understanding balance and composition,” said the judges.

Also praised for its “sophistication and precision” was the Heritage winner (sponsored by Concord). The scheme for Ripon Cathedral in Yorkshire by Light and Design Associates was based on low energy, dimmable lighting, and had to consider heritage issues, sustainability and the cathedral’s wide range of both sacred and secular activities. Elements include T5 fluorescent uplighting, downlighting from metal halide projectors at high level on the clerestory walkways, and both tungsten halogen and LED fittings accenting the cathedral’s historically important memorials and features.

Another historic building, Duke of York Headquarters in Chelsea by DPA Lighting Consultants, won the Exterior Lighting award, sponsored by Philips Lighting. In what judges described as a “well-crafted, subtle scheme”, visual orientation comes from the layers of lighting which increase towards the classical entrance portico. Recessed asymmetric buried uplights softly wash the facade between the ground-floor windows, while the windows themselves are internally lit from the bottom upwards using fluorescent with a candlelight-colour sleeve. By lighting upwards, the graduated effect gives an impression of movement to the symmetrical facade.

Restoration, on a smaller scale, produced another winner: the Special Projects category, sponsored by Cooper, was won by Urban Projects for the Western Bandstand, Brighton, refurbished as a cafe and performance venue. As well as being low energy, the discreet LED lighting avoids intervention with the Victorian structure. Bespoke fittings illuminating the roof are in the same grade of copper. Inside, the geometric precision of small custom fittings ensures even lighting on the ceiling and timber roof structure. “Beautifully integrated,” said the judges. “This is low carbon and great lighting design in its own right.”

The Centre of the Cell, a science education centre at the Whitechapel campus of Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London, won the Low Carbon category, sponsored by Etap. It is housed inside a giant orange ‘pod’. The lighting brief to David Atkinson Lighting Design was for the space to be dynamic and immersive but very energy conscious. DMX-controlled RGB LED lights wash the central ‘nucleus’ in saturated colour. The flip seats are underlit by concealed fibre optics heads, fed by HID projectors and the showcases are lit by recessed LED fixtures.
By using LED and metal halide sources the design has kept load to a maximum of 3kW, with a 1.2kW minimum.

A highly contemporary reinterpretation of a Victorian structure – in this case a loft-style redevelopment of a Royal Mail sorting office in Westminster – won Isometrix the Residential Lighting award, sponsored by Crestron. Voluminous spaces and high-gloss surfaces called for a multilayered scheme which included large circular lightboxes that subtly change the white light temperature throughout the day, and structural beams dramatically lit by concealed cold cathode. “A big budget production that exudes class,” said the judges.

Several schemes showcased the more theatrical side of lighting, literally in the case of the London O2’s BME (British Musical Experience) which won the Lighting for Leisure category, sponsored by Lutron, for David Atkinson Lighting Design. Judges praised the “very controlled, precise scheme”, the brief for which was to create a bold, dynamic, immersive experience. Lighting techniques are diverse, ranging from polycarbonate spheres with dimmable CFLs and red-filtered metal halide uplights to automated theatre lighting, used to produce the multilayered 270-degree rock and roll projection finale.

The seamless integration of music, light and space was the main concept for the upmarket Sound Club in Phuket, Thailand, winner of the International award – sponsored by Oldham Lighting - for Inverse Lighting Design. LEDs and cold cathode are combined to respond to the curved lines and organic shapes of the interior, as well as to the music itself. As visitors walk towards the dance floor, for instance, the changing intensity and movement of light creates the effect of the space breathing and the sound wave coming towards them. “The stunning lighting is key to creating an immersive interior,” said the judges.

Cinimod Studio’s stunning statement installation for the quirky Snog Soho frozen yoghurt outlet in London picked up the Hotels and Restaurants award, sponsored by Philips Dynalite. The globe ceiling exploits the space height and creates an effect variously described as “volumetric” and “effervescent”. Cinimod designed the light fixture, an opal-frosted glass globe housing 2.5W of RGB LEDs. More than 700 globes were used, each hanging on its own cable and each individually addressable. “Perfect for the concept and the location,” said the judges.

At the other end of the display lighting scale, the Sir Percival David Gallery of Chinese Ceramics at the British Museum won the Public Buildings award, sponsored by Abacus Lighting. With lighting design by Studio A Associates, Museum and Gallery Lighting, and ERCO, the new gallery displays the West’s foremost collection of Chinese ceramics. Fibre optics with purpose-made, adjustable lens fittings and colour correction filters were used for the in-showcase lighting. This allowed light to be directed on to (and into) each ceramic. The lighting “made the exhibits sing”, said the judges.

The Retail Lighting award, sponsored by Reggiani, went to Pinniger and Partners for Cabot Circus, Bristol’s £500 million retail, leisure and residential development. This covered all aspects of ambient, accent and aesthetic lighting across the project. Key objectives included minimal energy consumption, standard lighting products throughout and a design that responds to the individual character of the wide variety of spaces. “The textured lighting adds significantly to the ambience,” said the judges.

‘Dare to be different’ was a key part of the brief for the seven-storey London HQ of international law firm Addleshaw Goddard which won the Workplace Lighting category, sponsored by Wila Lighting. Lighting design was by Chapman Bathurst whose concept was based on creating a seamless journey through the building. In the atrium, for instance, lighting creates the impression of geometric shapes penetrating through the floor, producing a vertical connection between levels. The judges were struck by the “thoughtful integration of lighting into the interior”.

In the Product Innovations section, winner of the Interior Luminaires category, was Concord for its Stadium EVO LED accent fitting. Designed to meet tough colour rendering requirements – Ra93 on the 3000K and 4000K versions – the ultra-slim housing with integral driver gives a very discreet profile. “It is a new form factor for LED accent lighting,” commented the judges.

Philips ColorReach Powercore, winner of Exterior Luminaires, sponsored by Deltalight, was described by judges as ‘a genuine step forward’. A high-performance architectural floodlight with projection of more than 150 metres, the fitting produces 5000lm, using 70 per cent less energy than equivalent metal halide fittings. “Nothing else has this capability,” concluded the judges.

Harvard Engineering’s CoolLED high power LED driver won the Light Sources and Controls category, sponsored by Ex-Or. It is designed to bring LED drivers to the same standard as high spec HID ballasts, offering 89 per cent efficiency at full load (12 LEDs) with a high power factor of 0.98 and surge protection of 4kV.


Bernhard Bstieler
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