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Exemplar HQ, London, England

Issue 36 Apr / May 2007 Commercial : Workplace

Lighting Design: MOREYSMITH

MoreySmith designed and implemented the refurbishment of Exemplar Properties’ headquarters, located in the heart of the London property market at St. Christopher’s Place.

Established in 2003 by Clive Bush and Daniel Van Gelder (both previously at Development Securities) Exemplar Properties was the recipient in the 2006 Property Week Awards of the prestigious “Up and Coming Property Company” award and is the fastest growing UK property company.

With a portfolio of £400m, and more in the pipeline, the need to move was business driven. It was necessary to create additional space and an office environment to suit the image of the company, projecting the professionalism, quality and forward thinking nature of the business to visitors from the world of property and finance.

The brief was therefore to create a workspace that would express Exemplar’s individual character, while solving its operational problems.
The environment suits the personalities of Clive and Dan and is therefore very personal. Domestic in nature, it is comfortable and individual. The scheme maximises the building’s loft style appearance by exploiting daylight, the high ceilings, original windows and timber floor.

The entrance in St Christopher’s Place, a bespoke reclaimed oak door with a large leather handle with Exemplar’s logo engraved into the timber, subtly conveys the identity and culture of the business. A bespoke white glass illuminated box canopy was designed into the entrance solution to increase identity and presence on the pedestrianised walkway.

In the stairway to the first floor the EGG light, supplied by Places&Spaces, creates a retro feel. The luminaires reflect in the mirror at the top of the stairs, adding visual interest and brightness to the space. Details, such as the leather clad hand rail on the left hand wall and a timber handrail on the right, bring subtle elements of contrast.

The stone reception desk has Exemplar engraved in the stone to project the professionalism and solidity of the company. Directional light is provided by Modular Lighting Instrument’s nomad (50w 2xAR111) surface mounted fitting - this highlights the artwork and adds an industrial feel. Indirect lighting is provided by concealed uplights integrated into the bespoke storage wall and a molecular wall light designed by HOPF & WORTMAN softens the seating area.

A solid timber sliding door, with leather recess handle leads to the boardroom, which is framed by inter-layered glass, an exposed brick wall and a leather panelled wall. LED inground uplights, supplied by Modular, wash the original exposed brick wall while a Modular 5 line TL5, (an extruded aluminium profile of minute dimensions - 54mm x 84mm) slot fitting runs the length of the white wall opposite, on which artwork is displayed. This also draws the eye to the bespoke leather panelled AV wall. Direct lighting for the boardroom table is supplied by small low voltage downlighters – Modular’s K-035, Lotis MR16 - recessed into the galvanized ceiling tiles above. A lighting control system gives the client a number of scenes to allow maximum flexibility.

The informal meeting area, located behind the reception, provides an organic, natural feel. Large Octopus pendant lights featuring shades in 3D deep stamped polyester material from Ligne Rosset add warmth. Other domestic elements, for example a classic rug and comfy select chairs, add to the relaxed atmosphere, further reducing the boundaries between work and home environments.

Within the open plan workspace light sources create a high level of employee comfort with a homely feel. Modular’s 2Flat2C suspended lighting profile (144mm wide x 34.5mm deep) provides uplighting creating a sense of space and visual brightness by reflecting light off the ceiling. This versatile profile was selected because it enabled MoreySmith to control the length, lamp positions and ral colour.

An executive open plan area is located at the back of the office. Octopus pendant lights again add a homely feel complementing the deep red walls that delineate this area - this warm tone helps to create an inviting space. Full height shelving incorporates a plasma screen and a ladder to access the top shelves.

MoreySmith has succeeded in creating an informal environment with domestic qualities that bring an air of calm and creativity to the world of property development. The lighting solution assists in bringing warmth and individuality to the workplace by creating different moods and breaking the space into individual areas.
It highlights the contrast and combination of textures and finishes used, providing a domestic, comfortable atmosphere that subtly conveys Exemplar’s unique culture.

Linda Morey Smith, Principal Director, MoreySmith is delighted with the results: “Designed to suit the personalities of Clive and Dan, the environment created at Exemplar is unique. People thrive in a more personal, domestic atmosphere and the people at Exemplar are enjoying working in this space with its natural day light and beautiful high ceilings - rare elements in a London office. The lighting solution assists greatly in creating the high levels of comfort and individuality we aimed to achieve.”



HOPF & WORTMAN’s molecular wall light softens the seating area (foreground). A Modular 5 line TLF slot draws the eye to the leather panelled AV wall. K-035, Lotis MR16 downlights provides direct lighting to the boardroom table

  • Exemplar

    Pics: Alastair Lever

  • Exemplar

    Modular’s 2Flat2C suspended profile provides uplighting creating a sense of space

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