Office Barge

Location: Penryn, UK
Client: Robotmother
Architect: Marraum
photography: graham gaunt + hugh hastings

A creative company requires a creative office space, and Robotmother's 'Brain of Brian' office barge in Penryn, Cornwall, is certainly that. Built on top of a salvaged World War Two concrete barge, the unique modern structure is constructed using the latest in sustainable building techniques.

To match the multi-function purpose of the barge and fit its sustainability ethos, Eleanor Bell was tasked with creating two key lighting schemes: functional daytime office lighting, and lighting to transform the barge into a landmark at night.

Three striking cloud pendants in the reception area provide visual interest as well as differentiating the area from the functional open plan office space, and the eating area is lit by the Crane Light, a special commission which was created especially for this build. It was important that the energy efficient lighting scheme was still visually appealing and matched the bespoke interior of the barge - even down to the emergency lighting.

Known locally as the Penryn Opera House, the cove lighting, when viewed from the exterior, creates the illusion that the sloping roof sections are floating. This is amplified by its reflection on a rare still Cornish evening.