Statue of Unity, India

The Statue of Unity is the world’s tallest statue, with a height of 182 metres, located in the state of Gujarat, India. Depicting Indian statesman and independence activist Vallabhbhai Patel, the statue was designed by Indian sculptor Ram V. Sutar and inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi on 31 October 2018, the 143rd anniversary of Patel’s birth. dpa worked with Larsen & Toubro, Graves Architects and Turner India to create an iconic lighting scheme befitting the world’s tallest statue. The statue is constructed of 3D formed bronze clad around steel and concrete core and situated on an island in the river basin of the Narmada River and the Sardar Sarovar dam. Lighting a 182m statue from its small island base presented many challenges making a traditional statue uplight scheme impossible. dpa conducted 100s of lighting calculations, pushing the limits of the lighting software, to create a scheme focusing on the important elements of the statue such as the face and hands. Special attention was paid to the key viewing points of the statue from the mainland and visitor’s centre. The final scheme used a mixture of LED projectors utilizing wide to super narrow beam angles with custom cowls and louvres for maximum control of the light beams. These were concealed within the planting around the base of the statue, on the roof structure of the pedestrian bridge, and mounted on retractable columns hidden from view in the daytime on the mainland and a small island behind the statue. 2700K was used to enhance the warmth of the bronze cladding and avoid any lighting within the blue colour spectrum reducing the impact on the local ecology.

Sculpture Artist: Ram V. Sutar
Architect: Michael Graves
Engineering & Construction: ITG



Dubai Route 2020 Metro Link, UAE

dpa are pleased to announce involvement in the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Route 2020 Metro Link project. 

The new line project consists of a fifteen kilometre extension, of which approximately twelve kilometres is above ground and three kilometres underground.  The extension of the metro has seven stations including the interchange at Jebel Ali and the flagship metro station at the Expo 2020 Exhibition site.

Branching from the existing Red Line and connecting with the Expo 2020 site, the project offered a number of unique lighting challenges.  As part of the design team dpa were responsible for the design, and specification of architectural lighting to the Interiors, Façades and Landscape of all six new and one interchange stations.

Earth, Fire, Water & Air are the guiding principles that inform not only the lighting design of the new line stations but also dictate the architectural language of the new development.  Lighting design for the stations was developed alongside the architectural, interior design and engineering teams to enhance the key principles inherent in the original metro concept whilst also maintaining and developing a unique night time identity for the newly commissioned line.

Subtle and contextual lighting interventions were to sit alongside more dynamic and characterful areas in order to balance and contrast the approach to illumination.

In particular the canopy of the Expo station presented a unique opportunity to announce the station and its arrival plazas within an often congested illuminated environment.  A subtle, sophisticated yet simple approach to the illumination of the canopy celebrates the unique colour, contrast, form and texture of this iconic architectural intervention.

The project represents a rare opportunity to evolve and enhance the after dark identity of Dubai’s critical public transport network, helping to provide cost effective and efficient transit options to wide sections of the local community.

This iconic project was ceremonially inaugurated by H. H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai in July 2020 and became fully operational in the early part of 2021.

Client: Dubai Roads & Transport Authority
Architect: Atkins – Dubai
Interior Design: Aedas – Dubai
Photography: Phil Handforth Architectural Photography


New York University, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Extensive university campus located on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi. Designed by Architect Rafael Vinoly, the campus combines elements of NYU’s Greenwich Village environment and traditional Islamic Villages.

The large campus consists of multi-disciplinary spaces each with a focus to staff and student comfort and efficiency of spaces, with the lighting forming a cohesive strategy and hierarchy of brightness to provide variation and characterise each space. The project included the indoor sports arena and Performing Arts Centre.

An extremely fast track project, the management of the design by all parties needed to be rigorous. Also multiple spaces each with individual characteristics and lighting requirements was a complex exercise in ensuring a successful lighting design.

Client: New York University
Project Manager: Al Futtaim Carillion
Architect and Interior Designer: Rafael Viñoly Architects
Landscape Designer: Cracknell
M&E Consultant: WSP and Hyder
Photography: Tom Rossiter and Will Pryce


Central Market, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Central Market, Abu Dhabi is a new multipurpose development comprising of a new souk, retail podium, residential, hospitality and commercial properties.

Sun dappled alleyways and sun drenched courtyards form part of Foster + Partners vision for the souk, at the centre of the courtyards are shafts descending into the basement car park levels, allowing further penetration of daylight into the lower levels.

As part of our design work we created a simplified three dimensional computational model of the souk interior allowing the penetration of direct sunlight within the space to be studied. Into the model were placed simple massing models of all the surrounding buildings so the effect that their shading would have on the souk’s interior could also be analysed.

The results obtained from the study allowed us to advise the architect how the surrounding developments would impact on the availability of direct sunlight within the souk’s alleys, courtyards and basement shafts, these results also helped to inform our development of the artificial lighting design suggesting methods in which the effect of sunlight could be simulated during the hours in which direct sunlight is not experienced.

Client: ALDAR
Project Manager: Atkins
Cost Consultant: EC Harris International
Architect, Interior Designer and Landscape Architect: Foster + Partners
Façade Consultant: Arup
MEP Engineer: BDSP Partnership

Maison Lutétia Dubai, UAE

Located in Dubai Festival City, Maison Lutétia Dubai has opened their beauty clinic offering a variety of non-invasive treatments for skin and hair.

dpa worked closely with KKD to develop the lighting concept for both the landscape and the clinic interiors.

A sense of opulence is inherent within the design. The narrative suggests calm elegance and the use of high specification materials wood leather and natural stone all lend themselves well to this aesthetic. Lutétia has a private underground car park, so privacy and discretion were always paramount within the design.

The use of concealed illumination whenever possible helps to define the high level of detail given to each area.

Lighting to the waiting areas for both male and female lends an air of calm within the dynamic DFC environment. Corridor spaces contain concealed and integrated lighting within grey leather clad walls.

Treatment and waiting/consultation rooms exist side by side and differ in character, an incredible challenge for lighting within such defined spaces.

Le Barbier & Le Salon offer unparalleled levels of luxury and service within the personal grooming market. Individual stations with integrated lighting to mirrors helps to main the high levels of privacy required.

Le Barbier follows a traditional masculine material palette of dark metal, stone and glass while Le Salon counters with rich hues of gold panelling and pastel pink leather walls.

The VIP area follows through on this theme, dark blue leather clad walls offset against white natural stone and rich metallic accents. Lighting enhances the sense of opulence and quality through high levels of integration and detailing.

The use of sophisticated control systems for each area further adds to the feeling of quality through selective use of dimming and scene set technology.

Completed: January 2019
Client: Lutetia of Paris
Interior Designer: Kinnersley Kent Design

The Constellation, The Founder’s Memorial,
Abu Dhabi, UAE

dpa were privileged to be invited to illuminate The Constellation, a monumental public artwork that forms the centrepiece of The Founder’s Memorial in Abu Dhabi, a permanent national tribute to the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The artwork was conceptualised and designed by artist Ralph Helmick, whose practice explores human perception through large-scale public sculptures and installations that invite optical discovery.

dpa collaborated closely with the artist at both his studio in Boston and during the extensive lighting trials that were conducted in Abu Dhabi to achieve the optical visual performance of the lighting scheme that enhances this world class artwork. Particularly challenging was the task of conceptualising and developing a lighting scheme that would highlight the unique artwork from multiple viewing angles, whilst retaining the subtle complexity and depth of the sculpture.

The Constellation  consists of over one thousand three hundred geometric shapes suspended from more than one thousand tensioned cables. These elements constitute varying sizes of the five different types of regular, convex polyhedrons known as ‘platonic solids’, which are renowned for their mathematical beauty and symmetry. In order to achieve three dimensional rendition of the sculpture at night, seven hundred and fifty three downlights and twelve hundred and three uplights were custom made to illuminate the sculpture from above and below.  Each fixture is fitted with a 3.5w warm white LED and integral DMX control, which enables the exact tailoring of the lighting scheme to respond to the differing textures and forms of the individual and collective solids that make up the artwork.

The Constellation is situated within the landscape of The Founder’s Memorial, which features plants indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula, an elevated walkway offering breathtaking views of the city, and a Welcome Centre with a state-of-the-art multimedia experience. Housed within a pristine, prismatic Pavilion at the heart of the space, the suspended solids of The Constellation shine like stars within the night sky. This celestial display evokes the timelessness of Sheikh Zayed’s vision, which continues to offer the UAE people guidance along a path of progress and prosperity.

Project Owners: Ministry of Presidential Affairs
Artist: Ralph Helmick
Photography: Alex Jeffries Photography Group


Hackney Town Hall, London, UK

Over the last 10 years, Hackney Town Hall has undergone an extensive refurbishment of the interior areas, the final phase of which was completed this year, celebrating the building’s 80th anniversary. Working closely with Hawkins Brown Architects and London Borough of Hackney Council, dpa developed a sensitive lighting approach to the Main Entrance and Reception space, Marriage Suites, First Floor Lobby, Council Chamber, Mayor’s Office and the newly created Atria spaces.

Throughout these spaces a number of the existing art-deco heritage luminaires were refurbished by Madson Black, including the stunning feature chandeliers in the Council Chamber. dpa provided technical input into the integration of new LED light sources, to ensure the luminaires provided an improved light level, lit appearance and longevity, to reduce the need for maintenance. As well as the refurbishments, a number of luminaires were newly manufactured in the same art-deco style, taking key design elements from the existing heritage luminaires, to maintain a sympathetic approach to lighting the refreshed interiors and work within the installation constraints of a listed building.

The previously unused courtyard areas have been completely transformed into a covered atria. The introduction of an ETFE roof structure offers fantastic additional event space, whilst maintaining excellent daylight ingress allowing use throughout the entire year. The lighting to these spaces is very flexible, to respond to the various daylight conditions and multitude of events that the Town Hall hosts, including recessed uplighting to brickwork, custom wall mounted spotlights, decorative wall lighting, narrow beam linear projectors to the feature wall panelling and colour change lighting to the roof structure and lift shaft.

As part of the repurposing of the courtyard areas, building services run through new risers constructed within each courtyard. The new riser constructions closed off two large existing windows, reducing the natural light levels within the first floor lobby area. To help negate this and generally improve the light levels in this space during the winter months, dpa designed lightboxes to the rear of the existing windows, containing tuneable white light sources to mimic the effects and colour temperature changes of daylight throughout the day and continue a warm white lit effect into the evenings. In conjunction with this, a series of transparent light sheets were installed behind the frosted glass panels within the adjacent skylight in this lobby, allowing natural light to pass through during the day and then emit a homogenous backlight during hours of darkness. Again, tuneable white lighting was used, to be able to match the colour temperature between the windows and the skylight throughout the day, through the use of the lighting control system.

Client: Hackney Council
Architect: Hawkins Brown Architects
Design Consultants: Turner Bates
Photography: James Newton

Haberdashers’ Hall, London, UK

Originally built in 2002, Haberdashers’ Hall is home to the Haberdashers’ Company, one of the Great Twelve Livery Companies.

Haberdashers’ Hall’s function rooms are utilised for hospitality events including receptions, product-launches, meetings, weddings and banqueting.

The Hall has experienced increasing energy costs, maintenance issues and problems with the ageing lighting controls. The brief was to redesign the lighting whilst:

  • retaining functionality
  • improving light levels
  • reducing energy use
  • assisting maintenance
  • providing flexibility
  • avoiding disturbance of the architecture

The original lighting used tungsten-halogen lamps with excellent light quality, but high running costs and frequent lamp replacement maintenance. The original control system required regular repair, causing operational difficulties.

Alternative luminaires/light-sources were investigated considering lumen output, light quality (CCT, CRI, SPD), optical characteristics, efficacy, maintainability, dimability, cost and dimensions. The preferred alternative was a complete LED lighting solution.

Comparisons made between the original installation and proposed LED solution showed payback periods of 4-5 years.

Investigations into ceiling cut outs and recess depths were undertaken, informing selection of luminaires suitable to fit the existing architecture, in some locations custom mounting plates were utilised, this was especially important in the areas with timber oak ceilings which had apertures specifically designed for the original luminaires.

Consideration of the original lighting scheme, in conjunction with detailed lighting calculations, ensured that functionality was maintained and improved by increasing the range of light levels.

Given high in-rush-currents and difficulties with low-end dimming of LEDs, it was decided not to replace the existing controls with an equivalent mains dimmable control system.

DALI controls were considered but avoided due to the additional control cabling required.

A scene setting wireless lighting control system was selected. Each luminaire driver communicates wirelessly with neighbouring drivers creating a wireless mesh network.  The luminaires are individually addressable and provide feedback data, assisting monitoring and fault finding.  The luminaires can also be securely accessed remotely for troubleshooting and firmware upgrades. The system also monitors energy usage.

The wireless controls allowed reuse of existing wiring, resulting in a short installation with minimal disturbance to the ceilings.

A reduction of approximately 25W/m² has been made to the installed load (LPD-original=35.7W/m², LPD-new=10.6W/m²). Further savings are made through dimming.

In conclusion, the new scheme provides significant operational energy savings, simplified maintenance and enhanced operational capabilities, whilst being faithful to the original design intent. The result has been well received by both the client and visitors.

Client: The Haberdashers’ Livery Company
Project Manager: James Dunn Consulting
M&E Consultant: Bob Costello Associates

Executive Jet Terminal,
Al Maktoum International Airport, Dubai, UAE

dpa lighting consultants designs for the exterior and interior lighting to the Executive Jet Terminal were completed and the project officially opened in December 2016.  Working with the Client, Dubai South, the Project Architects, SIE, Interior Designers Strata Design and Landscape Consultants Desert Ink, the design team collaborated on this fast track upgrade to the recently opened Executive Terminal Facility.

The exterior lighting has been designed to maximise the architectural form of the building and its low, sweeping, aerodynamic form and entrance canopy.  This is achieved by ensuring that key vertical and horizontal surfaces are appropriately illuminated, with specific emphasis at the recessed entrances and entrance portals.  A key factor in emphasising the overall architectural form is the lack of visually intrusive lighting columns immediately in front of the Terminal.  This is achieved by utilising low level lighting from bollards and in-ground luminaires to each of the drop-off driveways, planting and water features.  The drop-offs are accessed from the primary vehicular route, itself illuminated from visually minimal lighting columns.

The interior lighting is designed to maximise the internal volumes and forms, with the principal central axis celebrating the view beyond the Terminal’s interior to the Executive Aircraft parked on the apron, with the main airport and runways beyond.  The ‘layered’ ceiling is extremely clean, the only visible lighting being strategically located downlights illuminating the suspended artwork that reinforces directionality and the principal view out towards the airport beyond.  The downlights not only enhance the artwork, but subtly cast light and shade downwards helping to further break up the large expanse of floor.

Either side of this principal central axis are the waiting lounges and support facilities for the executive travellers, these being located within sunken enclosures, partially concealed behind decorative fins. These fins have integrated lighting within their ‘outer’ vertical edge to further enhance their presence, with an identical lighting detail providing internal definition. The principal source of ambient illumination within the lounges is provided from back-lit stretched fabric ceiling panels, with decorative luminaires providing a more intimate scale.

Finally the internal wall of the arrivals/departure hall comprises internally illuminated entrance portals at each of the lobbies, with adjacent decorative feature panels comprising decorative cut-outs that are internally illuminated.  These elements are mirrored in the reflective flooring to create a memorable, but contrasting image to that experienced when first entering the Terminal.

Client: Dubai South
Architect: SIE Consultants
Interior Designers: Strata Design
Landscape Consultants: Desert Ink
Photography: Courtesy of SIE Consultants

Great Western Ticket Office, Paddington Station,
London, UK

dpa lighting consultants were asked to help Pentagram with the lighting design of a new ticket office for Great Western Railways at London’s Paddington Station. Daniel Weil of Pentagram wanted to break the mould of visually aggressive ticket offices and bring customer and ticket sales people in contact with each other to make the whole experience positive and friendly.

Using the visually powerful columns Daniel sculpted the ticket office sympathetically around this architectural volume. The lighting was carefully considered and integrated into the architecture and new desks, as can be seen in the two images shown here.

Client: Great Western Railways
Architect/Designers:  Daniel Weil and Emma Caselton of Pentagram
Photography: Courtesy of Daniel Weil and Pentagram


The Leathersellers’ Company, London, UK

The Leathersellers’ Company is one of the ancient Livery Companies of the City of London. It was founded by royal charter in 1444 with authority to control the sale of leather within the City. The Company no longer has this regulatory role, and instead devotes its energies to support for charity, education and the British leather trade.

The Leathersellers’ Company have relocated their Livery Company from their previous premises at 15 St Helen’s Place to a new building at 5-7 St Helen’s Place.  dpa lighting consultants worked with Eric Parry Architects on the front of house fit out of the new Leathersellers’ building including the Court, Reception and Ceremonial dining hall.

Client: The Leathersellers’ Company
Architect: Eric Parry Architects, London
Interior Designer: Eric Parry Architects, London
M&E Consultant: Brookfield, London
Project Manager: Gardiner & Theobald, London
Photography: Dirk Lindner

Corpus Christi Chapel, Oxford, UK

dpa lighting consultants were approached by Corpus Christi College, Oxford to design a new lighting scheme for their chapel as part of a major refurbishment project. The restoration of the chapel was deliberately scheduled to complete in time for the college’s quincentenary year celebrations in 2017.

The Grade 1 Listed Chapel has many varied uses, each with unique requirements from the space and in turn the lighting. In addition, showcasing the stunning architectural interior, stained glass and the painstaking work of the restoration team within this magical building, were primary design considerations. It has been a very special journey with a great ending, to be enjoyed for a very long time as the chapel continues to enrich the life of the college with a deserved and bright new outlook to the next 500 years.

Client:  Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Architect: GBS Architects, Oxford
Electrical Consultants: RT Harris, Oxford
Historic Consultant: Oxford Conservation
Specialist Finishing: Cliveden Conservation, Maidenhead
Photography: Matt Livey

Jesus College Dining Hall, Cambridge, UK

When founded in 1496, the College was made up of buildings taken over from the Nunnery of St. Mary and St. Radegund, namely the Chapel and Nuns’ Refectory, which became the College Dining Hall.  The Hall is a magnificent room that has been the centre of College life from the outset.  The space is characterised by the extensive timber vaulted roof structure, bosses which decorate the springing point of the trusses, tall arched window openings with deep reveals and an ornate reredos with raised dais and the Royal Arms of Queen Anne siting above the cornice at high level.

The walls accommodate portraits of previous Masters and students of the College, whilst the entrance elevation hosts a balustraded balcony with a charming small bay window set into the rear wall. When entering the Hall you are greeted by a majestic cockerel, the symbol of Jesus College, after the surname of it’s founder, John Alcock.

The lighting design brief required the new lighting system to provide a flexible approach to highlight key features within the Hall, whilst improving the overall ambient light level and addressing the maintenance aspects associated with the old scheme where the switched only tungsten lamps were failing on a regular basis and were expensive to run and maintain.

A palette of lighting applications and techniques were determined through lighting visualisations and on site trials and designed such that each lit element was individually controlled using dimmable long life LED fixtures, whilst ensuring that an appropriate lit balance could be struck on the lighting control system via a number of lighting scenes, according to the time of day and type of dining activity taking place.  A particular challenge was how to illuminate both the portraits and the decorative bosses, whilst minimising visual clutter and not adding too much lighting equipment on to the deep window sills.  The neatest solution was to bathe the portraits with warm white light from a linear LED picture light, which would then also house an integral miniature LED adjustable spotlight at either end of the profile and aimed back at the bosses.  Other tricks included integrating a miniature fixture within the chandelier at the balcony end to illuminate the cockerel, which takes pride of place on entry to the Hall.

Client: Jesus College, Cambridge
Photography: dpa lighting consultants

BBC DIY SOS Children In Need, Peterborough, UK

dpa Lighting Consultants were approached in August 2013 by the BBC DIY SOS Big Build team to assist them with the speciality lighting for a new play centre in Peterborough for the Little Miracles charity, as part of a special edition of the programme for this year’s Children in Need. The Little Miracles charity helps children with additional needs and life limiting conditions, so we were very happy to be involved in such a rewarding project.

The concept was to take an existing local plot, which had been generously donated to the charity by Peterborough Council, and turn it into a more attractive, functional and stimulating environment for the children. The existing building was not fit for purpose, so this was knocked down and a new building was constructed in its place, together with a transformation of the surrounding landscape.

As with any project, many different consultants, contractors and specialists were required in order to deliver the final building, all of which kindly donated their time and expertise to make the building a reality.

Our brief was to work closely with the BBC DIY SOS team to create stimulating zones using low energy light sources, specifically LED, as the charity needed to minimise future maintenance and running costs. We sought to introduce visually interesting lighting elements throughout the centre, such as the colour changing lighting within the Sensory Room, linked to musical control pads operated by the children.

The project was restricted to a very tight timescale; initial concept to handover was completed in 4 weeks, with 9 days on-site to complete the build, which was achieved with great effort from all involved. We had tremendous help from a number of lighting manufacturers, all of whom generously donated not only their equipment but also their time, support and advice. We would like to thank the following manufacturers for their contribution.

iGuzzini UK
Insta UK
Light Projects
Light Graphix
Lucent Lighting
Philips Lighting UK
Rako Lighting Controls
Storm Lighting Solutions (RZB Lighting)

The end result was very well received by all and hopefully will service the needs of the local community for many years.

Awaji Doll Joruri Pavilion, Japan

dpa lighting consultants work in Japan reflects the diversity of the Practice’s activities globally, we are proud to be involved with such a wide range of project types which provides intellectual stimulation as well as a broad opportunity to learn from different schemes. We were delighted to be awarded the role of Lighting Designer on this project by Endo Shuhei Architect Institute Inc.

This theater presents Ningyo-joruri, which is played by the puppets with the Japanese traditional narratives. One puppet and three puppeteers play as one.

dpa lighting consultants proposed the light design concept of the house lights and the showcase lights at the back of the seat in the theater. The house lights deliver the light to aisles and highlight the wall dressed by roofing tiles which are produced in Awaji.

The project shows how simplicity can be just as effective as more complex and sophisticated solutions.

Architect: Endo Shuhei Architect Institute Inc

Ultimate Picture Palace, Oxford, UK

The Ultimate Picture Palace is a historic grade II listed cinema situated in Jeune Street off the Cowley Road in East Oxford. When first opened in 1911 it was Oxford’s first purpose built cinema.

Through the Oxford Preservation Trust, dpa were asked by the owner Becky Hallsmith, to propose a new lighting scheme for the historic facade and entrance area which were due for refurbishment this year.

Following initial meetings with the client, together with a lighting trial on site, dpa identified the main architectural components that would benefit lighting.

The design was to highlight the architectural features, i.e. the columns and facade panels. For energy efficiency and low maintenance reasons the client was happy to pay the extra capital cost an all LED lighting scheme required.

The choice of lighting was kept to indirect and low glare sources. Recessed LED downlights were used to light the sides of the columns and provide general lighting to the entrance area.
Concealed linear LED uplighting created a soft wash of light to the horizontal lines of the facade. It was also used to illuminate the new signage and highlight the facade at high level, as well as light the walls on top of cornices over the entrance doors.

The design intent was to improve the first impression of the cinema’s visitors by reinforcing the identity and character of the cinema at night.

Wolfson Dining Hall, St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, UK

dpa lighting consultants have undertaken an architectural lighting scheme to re-light the interior of the 1970’s Wolfson Dining Hall, St. Edmund Hall, Oxford. Working in association with gbs Architects of Oxford, dpa produced a creative lighting scheme to coincide with the multi-functional activities that were held within the space.

The lighting was based upon a series of layers that provided definition to the principal architectural characteristics. Of particular note were the perimeter arches and wooden panels and the colour change LED uplit acoustic handkerchiefs that followed the sinuous geometry to the vaulted ceiling. A lowered suspended ceiling system, providing a more human scale to the space and was designed to incorporate metal halide (daytime dining) and low voltage tungsten halogen downlights (evening dining) within the square nodes.

The suspended ceiling arches were expressed with luminaires located in the sides of the node. Suspended cylinders housing a narrow beam downlight and the LED uplights to the ceiling, were bespoke lighting components specifically designed for the project.

Client: St Edmund Hall, Oxford
Architects: Gray Baynes + Shew, Oxford
Photography: dpa lighting consultants


Dagenham Civic Centre, London, UK

Dagenham Civic Centre is a 1930’s Grade II* listed town hall building from the Art Deco period. It is an architecturally beautiful building but as with many old public buildings it became very tired and technically out of date for the 21st century. Around 2005 it underwent a complete refurbishment including all the public areas, offices, committee rooms, debating chamber etc. Gary Campbell, London partner at dpa was commissioned to develop lighting solutions to all areas with leading London architect Hawkins Brown. This commission included refurbishing and reusing many existing listed luminaires and adapting them for modern light sources, increased efficiency, and improved diffusion. The debating chamber was upgraded for modern audio visual requirements and the lighting design was developed to integrate with this. Offices are illuminated with modern energy efficient direct/indirect luminaires. All lighting is controlled through a programmable scene set dimming system.


Champalimaud Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal

The Champalimaud Foundation have created ‘The Centre for the Unknown’, which is a World class Cancer Research and Treatment Facility in Lisbon, Portugal.

The following extract taken from the Foundation’s website, provides a little more detail about the Centre:

“The Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown is a multidisciplinary centre for translational research of excellence. The Centre includes laboratories for basic and clinical research, an ambulatory care centre, a vivarium, an auditorium, conference rooms, teaching facilities and an exhibition area. The state of the art facilities for basic and clinical research and for teaching will foster front line research as well as post-graduate and doctorate programmes, and the diagnosis and treatment of neurological and cancer patients.

In order to honour the historical relevance of the site – from where the famous Portuguese navigators departed in the 15th and 16th centuries – and to promote the relationship of the citizens with the sea and the “unknown”, the research centre will allow free access of the public to the waterfront through wide landscaped areas around its buildings”.

dpa lighting consultants were responsible for designing the internal and external lighting to all areas. dpa worked closely with Concept Architect Charles Correa, The Foundation and the rest of the professional team on one of the most special projects the Practice has been fortunate to work on. The lighting of each space has been carefully considered to enhance the experience of those working or visiting the complex. The lighting responds to the architectural forms and materials exposing them sympathetically.

Client: Champalimaud Foundation
Architect: Charles Correa Associates and Hillier
Project Manager: Glintt

Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, UK

The Towner Gallery is a new contemporary art gallery designed by Rick Mather Architects. The gallery is located next to the Grade 2 listed Congress Theatre in Eastbourne and forms part of the Devonshire Park cultural area within the town.

dpa lighting design were appointed to design the lighting for the public areas, including gallery spaces, conference spaces and community rooms.

The lighting solution proposed for the gallery spaces comprises a ceiling mounted translucent stretch ceiling system located between the structural beams. The stretched ceiling membrane conceals an array of high frequency dimmable fluorescent luminaires which provide diffuse ambient illumination to the gallery spaces. This is supplemented by three circuit lighting tracks with adjustable variable beam low voltage tungsten halogen spotlights which provide additional accent lighting to the paintings and exhibits on display.

Extensive investigations were made into the light transmittance properties of the translucent stretch ceiling.

Light sources within the gallery spaces were chosen for their excellent colour rendering properties and where required, the lamps have been fitted with ultraviolet reduction filters to minimise damage to light sensitive exhibits.

The lighting system is fully flexible allowing the range of ambient illumination levels within the gallery spaces to be varied between approximately 50 to 1000 lux to cater for temporary exhibitions as well as the permanent collection. The gallery spaces can be sub-divided into logical zones, each of which has a minimum of four separately addressable lighting circuits linked to a micro-processor based scene-setting control system.

Client: Eastbourne Borough Council
Project Manager: Cragg Project Management
Architect and Interior Designer: Rick Mather Architects
M&E Consultant: Mott Macdonald
Quantity Surveyor: Gardiner & Theobold

Photography courtesy of Daniel Clements and Richard Chivers.