St Pauls Cathedral Building, Photo, Architecture, Image, Lighting, Design
St Pauls Cathedral Building
New Lighting for Key Religious Structure in London, England, UK
page updated 4 Jul 2014
St. Paul’s Cathedral Lighting
The brief was to develop a flexible solution to meet the day-to-day operations including worship, tourism, state occasions and events. It was also required to update security, cleaning and maintenance arrangements.
The design was based on mixing a series of ‘layers’ of light:
• General: provided by a series of new and refurbished chandeliers, converted gasoliers, and stall lights combined with a series of specially designed lighting bars that can be folded away to restore the look of the space.
• Architectural: provided from concealed metal halide, linear xenon, cold cathode and tungsten-halogen sources. It includes the uplighting of the main vaults, the dome, transept windows, organ and other major features.
• Liturgical: provided by local lighting to the various altar positions.
Supplementary theatre lighting serves the crossing.
• Entrances: upgrading of entrances.
• Event: upgrading of theatrical lighting systems for events.
There were numerous constraints including getting permission from many official bodies. This required extensive research into minimising damage to the fabric as well as mock-ups and tests. Other issues included disabled access, the illumination of artworks, limited availability of power and the need to develop a sustainable solution. Achieving the right balance between the operational requirements and ‘character’ was key. Carrying out the scheme in a functioning building presented a considerable challenge as work was only permitted at night. The project took four years to complete.
The lighting scheme is managed by a sophisticated control system which provides lighting scenes and manages energy consumption and lamp life. Control is via a series of touch panels or hand held wireless devices. The system is linked to a theatrical lighting desk for events. The final outcome is seen by all parties as a great success and has been described within the conservation and heritage world as being a ‘benchmark project’.
St. Paul’s Cathedral Lighting – Building Information
Client: Dean and Chapter of St. Paul’s Cathedral
Surveyor to the Fabric: Martin Stancliffe
Architect: Purcell Miller Tritton
Lighting Architect: Speirs and Major Associates
Systems Integrator: Light Perceptions
Electrical Engineer : Eng. Design
Photographs: Timothy Soar
St. Paul’s Cathedral Lighting images / information from Speirs and Major Associates 250808
St Paul’s Cathedral
photo © Adrian Welch
St Pauls Cathedral Architect – Sir Christopher Wren
Location:St Pauls Cathedral, London, UK