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Analysis of lighting details at King's cross University of the Arts

The new campus for The University of the Arts in Kings Cross has been built by the developer Argent in order to allow the university to consolidate many of their previously disparate sites into one place. In a multi-award winning scheme, architects Stanton Williams worked with the context of the existing heritage architecture on the site, adding a new modern building and creating a creative hub around a vast central street that binds the spaces together. Commissioned to design the lighting for the public spaces & facades, Speirs + Major worked to support this balance, emphasising the traditional brick buildings and giving due presence to the modern concrete and steel construction. Deliberately raw, the new building is designed so that students are able to contribute to its identity with their work whilst maintaining the integrity of the whole. The design of lighting responds to this pared back design with careful integration such that the architecture is left as untouched as possible, at the same time as providing the means for students and faculty to use light for their own expressive purposes during shows, exhibitions and performances. These aims were achieved within the pragmatic context of a tight budget Design & Build project, with the required energy conservation for a BREEAM Excellent rating. Lighting Details The main entrance to the university is through the 19th century Granary Building, an impressive 55m 6 storey traditional brick building by Lewis Cubitt. In accordance with the wider Kings Cross Masterplan (developed by Speirs + Major in 2007), where key heritage buildings are highlighted, the fa?ade of the Granary Building has been given a sympathetic night-time identity that highlights its symmetry, height and depth, and enhances colour and texture. Close offset warm white light picks up the piers and highlights the cornices and lintels with the effect continued around the sides of the building. Passing through the Granary Building, you enter the East/West Link, a large airy space where the rear of the heritage building faces up to modern elevation of the new building. Partially covered by cantilevered roof, large areas of glazing allow natural light to fill the space. As night falls, the overall light levels have been kept low, allowing the priority of focus to be given to the heritage fa?ade, the texture of which is revealed with a soft wash of light. The vast volume of the space is also highlighted by a wash of light to the soffit, and a soft glow that picks out the shape of the circular skylights. The lighting throughout is sensitively integrated, with fixtures providing the wall washing and uplighting concealed into a detail that mimics a pre-existing door track on the heritage fa?ade. The track has been designed to provide mounting points and containment to allow for the addition of theatrical lighting for events and exhibitions. In the skylights, custom designed drums have been created to house the clusters of fittings needed to downlight the huge space. The Covered Street is an immense light filled multi-purpose space for circulation, socialising, eating, teaching, working and staging exhibitions and performances. To support this wide array of uses maximum flexibility was needed in the design of the lighting. A lighting bar with associated power infrastructure skirts the perimeter of the huge EFTE roof, providing the main ambient light through profile spots intended to be adapted with gobos and filters to introduce colour and texture to space. Concrete and steel bridges form the physical and visual connection between the studio spaces. The linear architecture that creates this connection is enhanced by a continuous line of extruded profile with diffused fluorescent, and in the case of the steel bridges with additional lighting to the linear coffers on the outer edge. The roof structure that caps the space is enhanced with narrow beam white light from narrow beam. All of the studio and bridging elements are lit in a neutral white (4000K) to differentiate them from the other circulation and social spaces, lit in a warmer white (3000K). Additional lighting bars are in place on all bridges, and there is capacity to add theatrical lighting to the main perimeter lighting bar, so that the students can personalise the space with light. All other architectural lighting is restrained, having been concealed into details to ensure minimal impact on the architecture. The wall washers to the balconies are recessed into a channel in the soffit, and the lighting beneath the stairwell is hidden in specially created recesses. The north elevation of the modern building is the main entrance to the Performance Centre. A strong identity has been created using internal lighting to the two storey cantilevered dance studio. The studios Reglit glazing has been backlit with linear LED to top and bottom, creating a glow that is animated by silhouettes of dancers when the space is occupied. At ground level the entrance feature wall in powder coated steel has been marked out by a recessed lighting detail between the plates creating a three-dimensional effect. The concrete walls and cantilevered ceiling of the entrance space feature a soft wash of light that leaves a shadow gap to articulate the different planes of concrete. On either side of the modern elevation the back ends of the transit sheds complete the composition: the brick archways picked out with grazing light. Speirs +BREEAM 655002007 Speirs + / efte4000K300K reglitLED

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