2017 IALD Award Winners: Award Of Merit Debenhams Oxford Street By Light + Design Associates
Luminaries of the lighting profession gathered at the Crystal Tea Room on 10 May to honor the winners of the 34th Annual International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) International Lighting Design Awards. Twenty-two projects from eight countries were on display – including interiors, monuments, façades, museums, and a residence. This year’s winners represent some of the most innovative and inspiring work found anywhere in the world of architectural lighting design.
The façade of Debenhams Oxford Street in London, with lighting design by Light + Design Associates, took home an Award of Merit.
The new kinetic façade cladding four stories of Debenhams’ flagship store on London’s Oxford Street is made up of 187,000 aluminum leaves, moving with the wind to create ever-changing patterns and reflections. The brief called for a completely integrated and concealed lighting scheme – and the local authorities levied stringent planning requirements to create additional challenge and complexity.
Inspired by its fashionable contents, the lighting scheme changes the building from its cool daytime veil into a glamorous evening gown. Amber light colors the kinetic façade to appear like gold chainmail shimmering in the evening light. Wave and water-like effects appear on the façade during the day; at night, the light converts water to fire, giving the building a totally new look.
The design uses only two types of luminaires. Two runs of high output, narrow-beam amber linear LED fittings were concealed above the canopy. Each set was aimed separately – one to illuminate the upper half of the façade and one for the lower half. This way, the entire façade is lit from a single hidden and accessible portion. The perforated panels screening the ends of the facades are backlit using the same product mounted horizontally. The second type of luminaire is used in the signage band, where lighting is provided by a continuous run of warm white linear LED cove lighting. This same product was also used to backlight the perforated ceilings at the entrances into the store.
The façade lighting is automatically controlled to come on at dusk and switch off at midnight, complying with Westminster’s guidelines for lighting in conservation areas. At the request of the client, the signage band remains on during the day for round the clock branding.
The previously invisible façade has new life and vibrance, and can now be seen as a destination when approaching from both the Oxford and Bond Street tube stations, fulfilling the project’s goal of reestablishing Debenhams as a visible retail destination 24 hours a day without causing visual disturbance for neighbors.
DEBENHAMS OXFORD STREET
LONDON, ENGLAND UK
Lee Prince, IALD
Light + Design Associates
Formerly Light + Design Associates
BUILDING SERVICES ENGINEER
TÜV SÜD, Ltd
Essex Services Group PLC
© Lynn Sammonds, Sammonds Photography