Location: London, UK
Architect: Simon Merrony
Completed: December 2015
This project formed part of the renovation of a large Edwardian family home in London, which was dimly lit and lacked a sense of flow between the rooms. To open up the space of the house, the architect created an archway from the central octagonal hallway that leads into the open plan kitchen and orangery at the rear of the property, creating a sightline from the front door through to the garden. To enhance the sense of space in the hallway, an octagonal aperture was created in the ceiling, to match the hallway's shape and to create a link between the ground and first floors.
I was commissioned to create a lighting scheme for the orangery, the kitchen, and the circulation areas of the house, such as the hall and stairways. The brief required a scheme that was based around simplicity and functionality, whilst still celebrating the period features of the house.
To create a real feature out of the octagonal opening in the hallway ceiling, a cluster of nine pendants is suspended from the first floor, providing light for both levels and creating a tangible connection between the two spaces. The blown glass pendants are a mix of clear and ribbed shades to add texture and visual interest. The ceiling itself is uplit using concealed LED strip, which runs around the top edge of the wall and enhances the sense of height and space of the hall. Uplights are recessed in the floor inside each archway, creating a dramatic feature of the period archways. The stairs that lead to the first floor are lit using recessed step lights, while glass pendants provide lighting in the side halls.
In the kitchen, the skylight above the island meant that a traditional centred pendant wasn't suitable. Instead, I chose a flexible arm pendant which can be moved into place above the island in the evenings. Downlights provide further lighting, and make up the main lighting for the orangery. To take advantage of the octagonal skylight, designed to echo the hallway, concealed LED strip was used for uplighting around the edge, which creates a warmer atmosphere in the room at night.
The scheme is controlled by a Rako control system, which is simple to use; the lighting of the house can be controlled using switches or using an iPad.