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The Pavilion @ Regents Place, London, UK

Issue 55 June / July 2010 : Architecture : Pavilion

Rob Honeywill, Director of Maurice Brill Lighting Design, explains the process of designing an integrated scheme for this urban space.

Creating compelling and engaging spaces is always a wonderful challenge for architects and designers. We know that urban spaces by their very nature are defined by human interaction. The Pavilion at the Regents Place development in central London is one of the latest definitions of urban subspace architecture that is compelling with a dash of playfulness.

Part of Terry Farrell’s original master plan, the brief had specified that a café be incorporated within the British Land development in order to breath life into the  new western entrance to Regents Place, the space between the two new Farrell office buildings adjacent to Great Portland Street tube station. However, the chosen architects (from an architectural foundation competition) Carmody Groarke had other ideas.

Maurice Brill Lighting Design (MBLD) was already appointed for the public realm lighting design and was invited by the project managers to collaborate on the pavilion scheme. In our first meeting with Carmody Groarke (CG) we were shown the award winning model of the parallelogram shaped pavilion structure made from a forest of 8m high square metal rods representing ornamental trees. We discussed their aspirations which were clear: create a golden glow and capture light itself. We then set about the task of analysing the finishes and materials and developing our previsions of how we could bring the structure to life.

Now initially, we had assumed that this would be fairly straightforward, we would simply use ceramic metal halide floor recessed uplighters positioned in and around the base of the structure, warm tone colour filter - done. If only life were that simple. In meetings with Arup we talked about a raft that would both support the structure and house the uplighters. The distribution of the uplight would be wide and cover the base of the columns and be combined with a narrow distribution uplight to light the upper section and roof. CG wanted to use a square shaped fitting to connect with the language of the columns. This aspect proved to be our first stumbling block added to which were changes in floor level that created an undulating surface with variable recess depths available. There was simply not enough depth in the floor make-up in order to use a fixture deep enough to mitigate the fixture’s surface temperature. We studied the potential of using shallow recess in ground uplighters but none of these would work.

At about this time luminaire designer David Morgan of David Morgan Associates (DMA) was visiting our studio and Maurice Brill asked him if he could look at the problem to hand, and design a shallow recessed, square, integrated twin beam high output, cool touch, with colour filter. David was immediately up for the challenge and the possibilities it presented. The design team was just a little sceptical that that could be achieved and for a while we felt a little uncertain as the final result.
We then set about working closely with DMA on a custom uplight.

Created to integrate perfectly within the granite paving and complementing the pavilion’s floor finish, DMA combined white LED sources and tailored lenses, with colour filters and glare protection. Several colour filters were trialled on a small scale to create what CG were looking for. This culminated with a full scale in-situ test using the Rosco high temperature Supergel as a permanent gold colour filter.
The Pavilion forms an interesting counterpoint to the flanking Farrell offices, set at 45°, and with knowing our approach to the Pavillion lighting we had to make sure that any light reflected in the stainless steel rods from our adjacent lobby design had to be kept to an absolute minimum and that a balanced solution was needed.

Light is reflected off the steel roof casting dramatic shadows into the surrounding landscape. The density and formation of the ornamental trees creates pathways and areas for seating blocks. The visual transparency of the structure is reinforced by the uplighters which does appear to ‘capture’ the golden light within its form.

Project Details
Pavilion @ Regents Place, London
Client: British Land
Pavilion Architect: Carmody Groarke
Masterplan Architect: Terry Farrell & Partners
Lighting Design: Maurice Brill Lighting Design (MBLD)
Product Design: David Morgan Associates / MBLD
Photography: Tom Brill

Lighting Specified

Radiant Lighting RAD 250 IP68 buried LED uplight using 3 Watt Cree XR E White LEDs and Rosco Supergel gold colour filter


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