Rugby School Chapel, Warwickshire, UK

dpa lighting consultants were commissioned in June 2009 by Rugby School, to design a lighting scheme for the interior and the exterior of the school chapel. The building was designed by the gothic revival Architect, William Butterfield in 1875 and the interior remains as it was constructed, 135 years ago. 


The highly decorated roof structure is evenly uplit using 150 watt metal halide projectors sited on the stone window sills whilst the main body of the chapel is lit via adjustable low voltage downlights which are located in custom designed 1.2 metre diameter pendants suspended from the full height of the chapel roof structure. Emergency lighting is also provided for the chapel via LED downlights sited in the simple ring pendants.

Accessible and adjustable track mounted spotlights provide illumination to the north and south aisles, the altar, high level mosaic figures and the choir stall areas.

Although the project started off as a new lighting scheme exercise the extensive lighting trial dpa carried out at an early stage determined that access to the roof structure would be required and therefore it was an opportunity for the school to carry out repair and decoration work. The newly painted roof beams and trusses look magnificent uplit in warm white light.

The interior lighting scheme of the chapel has the added bonus of brilliantly illuminating the stained glass windows, which provide an attractive and stunning backdrop at night. 


The warm white uplighting of the banded brick walls and the window tracery bring the building to life at night. Long distance views of the tower from positions around the school are enhanced with the addition of several high pressure sodium fixtures positioned within the Bell Tower interior bringing a warm glow and feeling of occupancy through the window tracery.

When the lighting to the remaining areas is installed it will complete the picture of a safe, well-lit and visually attractive school at night. 

Architect: GSS Architecture
Construction Consultants: Edmond Shipway
Contractors: Steele & Bray
Electrical Contractor: Electract
Photography: David Thrower at Redshift Media