Public Building Lighting

Client: The City of London, Tower Bridge, London - 2009

Interior Event & Exhibition Lighting Design scheme

Brief: To light the East & West Walkways of London's famous Tower Bridge with an identical lighting scheme that could incorporate a versatile dynamic RGB colour changing solution and be adapted to suit any function / branded space / client event. A general accent lighting solution was also required. The exhibition lighting had to perform three tasks that could be controlled independently from each other. Light the permanent tourist information boards, light the temporary exhibitions that move and change in size, and pin spot both the poseur and dining tables for the evening events. The client didn't want to see any fittings so these had to be hidden.

The lighting was also required to not adversely affect river traffic or pollute the London skyline. It is situated within a major tourist attraction with around 1 million visitors per year so it also had to be robust and hard wearing as well as creating maximum impact.

The majority of the scheme had to be energy efficient and be controlled by a lighting control system.

Concept: The permanent lighting scheme was broken down into two categories “Event Lighting” and “Exhibition Lighting”.

Event Lighting

This took a great deal of design planning. Due to the Grade I listing and as nothing could be screwed in, lead manufacturers for the Event lighting, Tryka LED, created a fantastic bespoke bracket to conceal their 316 RGB Module 3's and 6's within the steel lattice architectural structure, with a recess depth of 60mm. The pattern formed by the lattice structure flips about half way down each walkway, and an extremely methodical approach was needed to light this in order for it to appear symmetrical. Each walkway was split into 4 sections with the South end of each section dedicated as a more pre and post dinner destination. In this area there was a higher concentration of LED luminaries creating a more intense lighting experience to suit the party mood.

Exhibition Lighting

To meet the brief, working closely with Commercial Lighting Systems, a 50w 350° rotational track mounted dimmable spotlight systems was chosen with a 50w medium beam lamp to pin spot the tables. Due to there being so much natural light during the day the lighting wasn't required to make such an impact as the night time lighting, however in the winter months and on a gloomy London day, track lighting provides adequate light for the thousands of tourists passing through.

Eleni worked within the beautiful architectural features, highlighting their geometry and structure, not conflicting with them. She also wanted to enhance the length of both walkways and the light used creates this effect, as if the tunnel is lit as far in to the distance as the eye can see.

Quote from David Wight Director of the City Of London:

“The event lighting designed by Eleni Shiarlis for the high level walkways at the Bridge has created a range of stunning effects which exceed our high expectations and will delight our corporate and private clients whose events will be greatly enhanced. The solution of lighting the structure instead of the space and skilfully integrating the purpose built fittings within the depth of the metal beams in the Bridge structure is both innovative and subtle. The success of the project is a tribute to the persistence and professionalism of Eleni who dedicated herself to the task and refused to compromise on any aspect of our brief. We look forward to working with her in the future on other lighting projects at the Bridge.”