Reform Club project shortlisted in Hospitality Faith and Leisure Project of the Year
The team at Connected Light is today (2nd August) celebrating its shortlisting in the prestigious Lux Awards 2017. Alongside renowned lighting designer Anthony Capo-Bianco, Historic England and Westminster City Council, Connected Light director Richard Ludlow and his heritage lighting team met exacting conservation guidelines and future-proofed the lighting systems in the Reform Club’s Grand Saloon and Library.
The story in detail
Established in 1836, the Reform Club in Pall Mall is one of the world’s most celebrated private members’ clubs. The Club recently underwent a remarkable, historically sensitive restoration initiative, under the project leadership of club member Anthony Capo-Bianco. The Club is home to an important collection of art, and a particular focus was to restore vibrancy to a number of magnificent spaces within the building, including the Grand Saloon with its imposing Atrium and the Library.
Capo-Bianco’s vision was to bring the historically important Grade 1 listed interiors back to life through a thoughtful conservation approach. Right from the start, lighting was to play a pivotal role in the refurbishment, with Capo-Bianco seeking a soft, warm, three-dimensional glow that would attract visitors to look at architectural details, artworks and paintings through fresh eyes.
Resolving particular challenges
The solution needed to be highly discreet, with Historic England rules determining that light fittings must not intrude upon the architectural integrity of the building. The end result combines fixtures concealed on ledge areas, along with strategically-placed units for both up- and down-lighting. Each fitting is the size of a thumb and very unobtrusive both individually and collectively; the LED luminaires are masterminded by a central, computer-based system that yields individual control of all light sources.
Connected Light considered the long-term usage of the space, particularly maintenance. As cherry pickers are not allowed in the building, lighting maintenance would normally involve using a scaffolding tower, an expensive, disruptive and potentially damaging undertaking. Instead, Connected Light integrated the controllers for the central atrium dome lights into the roof, so that they can be accessed without damaging the interior. In addition, because the new fittings are LED-based they will need to be replaced much less often, while their low operating temperatures won’t risk any detrimental impact upon the canvasses and fabric.
For Capo-Bianco, the lighting has recreated the “sense of theatre” intended by architect Charles Barry’s original 1841 design. “The portraits were previously flat and obscure, but now the famous figures of the past are now ready to step out of their frames to talk to us as we pass by. Once dark and out of sight, the splendid coffered ceilings, swags and pilaster capitals are now vibrant and alive.”
Connected Light’s project director Richard Ludlow stresses the importance of the collaboration with Historic England to the successful realisation of the project, and in return Timothy Jones – who is Historic England’s Principal Inspector of Historic Buildings and Areas London– says that the organisation is “delighted with the scholarly programme of restoration and conservation work at the Reform and considers that its outstanding interiors are greatly enhanced by the lighting scheme adopted.”
“Connected Light prides itself on developing specialist lighting solutions, uniquely delivered for each client,” comments Richard Ludlow, Director.
“We are delighted to be in contention for the Hospitality, Faith and Leisure Project of the Year. Sensitive and heritage lighting projects are bringing new life to our unique architecture, while ensuring enhanced energy efficiency now and in the future.”
The winners of each category will be announced at the awards ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel at the O2 in November.