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MONDO ARC

Burberry, Regent Street, London, UK

Issue 70 Dec / Jan 2013 : Retail: Store

LIGHTING DESIGN: Office of [Light] ARCHITECT: Bauencorp


With the dawning of our internet age, the concept of ‘identity’ has gained a whole new dimension. For individuals and businesses alike, cyberspace now offers the opportunity to interact and explore in previously unimaginable ways; as well as the ability to emphasise certain traits over others or even create characters far removed from their real-world counterparts

With the opening of their new Regent street store, Burberry has purposely brought these real and virtual worlds together, using themes found on their website to structure the retail space, as well as adding an extra interactive element to the shopping experience.

“Burberry Regent Street is really a merging of our burberrry.com site and a physical experience,” explains Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s chief creative officer. “Burberry Regent Street is one of the most architecturally and culturally significant projects we have undertaken. In renovating this iconic London building we have worked with some of the UK’s finest craftsmen to restore a wealth of historic features, at the same time as pushing the boundaries of digital technology. The result is a space defined by contrasts: at once imposing and intimate, its juxtaposition of craft and innovation is designed to delight, surprise and entertain. It is a reflection of how we approach everything at Burberry – revealing the different layers of the brand’s heritage within a modern context, and forever celebrating design and expert craftsmanship.”

The 44,000 square-foot space is divided into rooms that, in various ways, express the different themes found online: ‘acoustic’, ‘foundation’ and ‘heritage’.

Shoppers enter into a double floor space topped by a classical cupola with plaster-relief. Grand sweeping staircases at the rear of the store lead up to a balcony area, which in turn leads onto further side rooms. A triple-height LCD screen dominates this central space whilst, along the balcony, special interactive mirrors have the ability to display video content, either individually or as part of a cohesive in-shop live experience.

For their part, lighting design company office of [light] answered a brief to develop a scheme comprising ‘contemporary lighting’. Like the digital video technology, the fixtures chosen were intended to juxtapose with the very traditional architectural environment.

“It was an intensive project with many things to be taken into account,” explains office of [light]’s creative director Russell Lipscombe. “All services were to be hidden, including air conditioning. The cameras were designed in the same style as the spotlights and the speakers, cameras and power cabling were installed in special suspensions to the tracks so there are minimum intrusions into the ceiling.

“The lighting reflected the style and quality of the brand but more importantly the enhancement of the architecture. The key brief was to install a modern lighting system into a traditional background.”
Throughout the store, Erco Parscan spotlights were used as part of a Hitrac system with different lamp types and light levels specified to accommodate the different room heights. In the main room, high power, direct lighting illuminates merchandise without adversely affecting the image quality of the LCD screens. These included special profiles created by Mike Stoane Lighting that allow the use of high output Erco spotlights plus provided LED illumination of the cornicing. It is into this same track that wiring for speakers, CCTV and emergency lighting are incorporated.

Radiant LED FLEX 100 high power fixtures are placed in a continuous ring around the base of the cupola, helping to accentuate the plaster moldings. This approach is repeated on a second, smaller cupola in a side room that faces onto Regnet Street. Special, traditional style pendant lanterns supplied by Dernier and Hamlyn add to the classical style of the interior, their long-life tungsten heritage lamps supplied by the Historic Lighting Company.

The cornicing throughout the rest of the store is illuminated with Ecosense Linear INT LED fixtures.

Controllability is an essential element of the scheme. In the fitting rooms, for example, shoppers are able to view potential purchases under a variety of light conditions. Two strips of concealed KKDC TiMi 504 HCRI LED cove lighting are installed in each cubicle. These can be individually controlled by the customer using Lutron scene panels that shift the colour balance from a warm 2700K to a cooler 3800K. Both strips are high colour rendering and offer the two-step deviation on the colour temperature - a continuation of the design approach to the retail area outside.

In the main store, a Lutron HomeWorks 8 control system, operated via an iPad interface, allows staff to individually control lighting across the store, or quickly switch between two scenes: one for everyday use to illuminate the shop and displays, the other for those times the space is used for events. The latter is a key aspect of the Regent Street store’s identity as Burberry World Live. The main space has the ability to become an auditorium for various events, from live-streamed catwalk shows to choreographed ‘audio-visual take-overs’. These can include coordinated video displays that span across the special digital mirrors upstairs and the main LCD screen. Light levels are dimmed to ensure screens have maximum impact and create a heightened sense of dramatic spectacle for those in store and across the social media platforms so embraced by the Burberry brand.

www.officeoflight.com

 

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