The call for the establishment of a mission for the French community in London came in 1861. Louis Auguste Boileau, an Architect and promoter of cast iron architecture transformed a former tourist attraction of Leicester Square into a new church. It was the first church built using cast iron in London, and was consecrated in June 1868. The mission included a hospital, an orphanage and two schools.
The original building was badly damaged in the war, and although reopened after extensive repairs, was finally rebuilt with the support of the French and British governments. The foundation stone was brought from the Cathedral of Chartres and laid on 31 May 1953. The architect was Hector Corfiato of Beaux Arts de Paris. The French Cultural Attaché René Varin encouraged the creation of a sacred space, which would honour France. He approached many eminent artists of the time (including Jean Cocteau and Dom Robert who all contributed to this most extraordinary place.
Over a period of four years we worked with the parish to replace a failing 1990s lighting scheme with a new programmable system which also included carefully relighting the art collection, aiding its long term conservation. The new lighting significantly enhances the presentation for of Notre Dame for worshippers and the many international visitors that come to see the spiritual home of the French community in the UK.
St Mary’s Church, Chalgrove
The chancel of the Grade I* listed St. Mary’s Church is decorated with a near complete set of medieval wall paintings, originating around 1320AD probably commissioned by the de Barantyn family who lived in Chalgrove. They were lime washed during the Reformation and rediscovered in 1858. The paintings are of national significance and their recent restoration was generously funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund which also contributed to their relighting.
The new lighting is an interactive system where each element of the story can be individually illuminated by a dedicated spotlight fitted with special lenses to control the beam spread and relative intensity of each detail.
The new lighting in the nave and aisles is provided by a set of bespoke pendants, designed in an Arts & Crafts style by us. The fittings are proportioned both to the volume of the three spaces and the need to provide an even flow of light across the width of the interior of the nave and aisles.
China Design Now, The V&A
One of the V&A’s spring exhibitions, China Design Now, was the first in the UK to explore the recent explosion of new design in China and the first to attempt to understand the impact of rapid economic development on architecture and design in China’s major cities.
From the Olympic stadium, and other significant architectural projects, to the latest in fashion and graphics, China Design Now captured a dynamic phase as China began to open up to global influences responding to the hopes and dreams of its new urban middle class.
The exhibition focused on three rapidly expanding cities – Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. It displayed the work of Chinese and international designers, focusing on architecture, fashion, and graphic design as well as film, photography, product and furniture design, youth culture and digital media.
The Crypt Chapel, Sheffield Cathedral
The Grade I* listed Crypt Chapel lies to the north of the main body of the Cathedral below St George’s Regimental Chapel. It receives little daylight – except from the entrance steps and therefore relies almost entirely on the new artificial lighting.
Carefully designed fittings are fixed to the supporting columns and provide the general downlight as well as an attractive uplight onto the low vaulted ceilings.
The Crypt Chapel is also a place where ashes are placed – behind the stones that form the three sides away from the entrance steps. Previously very hard to read, the names of the deceased and other dedications that are carved into the stones are gently illuminated by specially designed wall wash fittings which are discretely positioned on the vaulting.
The overall effect of the lighting is to carefully illuminate this previously dark and uninviting space in a subtle and harmonious way.
St Joseph & the English Martyrs, Bishop Stortford
St Joseph’s Church in Bishop Stortford is a handsome Italianate church built for the Redemptorist order in Italian basilican style from designs by E. Doran Webb 1904 and consecrated in 1906. The church retains many internal fittings of note, some of them paid for by the builder of the church, Fr Oliver Vassall-Phillips.
The Classical arcades of the nave have Doric pilasters marking the bay divisions, and stucco cherubs in the spandrels, bearing ribbons incorporating the names of English Catholic martyrs of the Reformation period. In the western bay there are panels with stucco cherubs, also recording English martyrs.
The new lighting scheme consists of a series of beautiful crafted chromed electroliers designed using the patterns of the existing sanctuary lamps as the principal theme. The electroliers cast an even light across the width of the church and provide feature lighting to the side altars and new baptistery created in the north transept. Additional spotlighting provides subtle emphasis to the sanctuary and Altar as well as fine details of the Lady Chapel and side altars.
St Peter’s Church, Hammersmith
St Peter’s Church is a Grade II* listed building built in 1827 by Edward Lapidge. It has a classical pedimented portico with large Ionic columns and a pilastered octagonal tower with cupola and clock. The Interior has a large gallery on three sides supported by Doric columns. Much of the interior is Neo-Romanesque from the mid C19th.
It sits alongside the busy A4, a mile to the west of the Hammersmith Flyover. The church has been undergoing a steady transformation over recent years including re-landscaping of the exterior, internal repairs to a collapsing ceiling, internal redecoration, and a new lighting scheme.
The new lighting scheme has been highly commended for the way in which it complements the classical interior of the church. Light perceptions designed a set of new Flemish pendants that light the nave, aisles, and grand entrance of the church.
Additional spotlighting highlights the large mural above the East end of the church as well as providing emphasis for a wide variety of services, concerts, and recitals that full the busy calendar of this thriving west London church.
The Priory Church, Bolton Abbey
The Grade I* listed Priory Church at Bolton Abbey sits in the beautiful surroundings of the Bolton Abbey Estate owned by the Duke of Devonshire. The current Church occupies what was only the nave of the once grand mediaeval Priory complex and sits amongst the ruins. This is still one of the finest buildings of its age in the north of England.
The church is one of the most visited sites in this part of the country and benefits from the generosity of its many pilgrims and visitors as well as the thriving congregation.
The new lighting system replaces old sodium floodlighting which lit the church with a dull orange glow for decades. High level LED spotlighting, fitted to the nave tie beams provides a generous general illumination across the nave and sanctuary whilst uplights mounted on the window ledges highlight decorated ceiling details.
Station Hall, National Railway Museum
Station Hall was once home to York’s main goods station. It was built in the 1870s and was a working railway building into the 1960s. We was commissioned to redesign the lighting in the hall as part of a comprehensive re-displaying of the objects which include a wide array of locomotive vehicles and equipment including the most complete collection of historic royal trains and carriages.
Visitors can soak up the atmosphere of this historic building filled with vehicles spanning a century of railway history. Our exciting design includes several sophisticated, automated animation sequences which combine lighting effects and haze machines to simulate the authentic steam train era.
The scheme also included the restoration of the original station lanterns, additional lighting for the popular catering outlets and more flexible lighting for corporate events.
Following the successful completion of the relighting of the nave and aisles of Wakefield Cathedral, we continued working at the Grade I* listed site with the installation of the second phase of work in the East End of the Cathedral.
Continuing the broad concept of electroliers designed in the style of Sir Ninian and Sebastian Comper, the East End is now lit by a series of new, reproduction pendants which provide a warm and flowing light across the whole area.
Spotlights are used in addition to light the key liturgical and architectural features whilst miniature LED modules are used to highlight the Sedilia near the High Altar as well as the canopy of St Mark’s Chapel.
All the new lighting uses high quality LED light sources which are controlled by a modern pre-set dimming system that allows the lighting across the whole Cathedral to be changed, with ease, to support the wide variety of purposes from traditional worship to lunch-time concerts to film shows.
Tower of London White Tower Staircase
Entry to the Grade I* listed White Tower and the fabulous Crown Jewels Exhibition is via an external staircase to the first floor, the double-width timber construction has recently been replaced with a new green-oak staircase hewn from fifty English oak trees from a South Oxfordshire woodland.
To provide safety lighting on the stairs, our design uses miniature LED spotlights embedded into the timber balusters to illuminate the treads. Additional uplighting to the reproduction Norman structure comes from low level linear LEDs. The lighting of the staircase complements our relighting of the rest of the White Tower.