Project Description

University College London (UCL) is one of the world’s leading universities, founded in London. With big ambition for growth, UCL has a 20-year strategy, ‘Strategy 2034’ which aims to integrate education, research, innovation and enterprise for the long-term benefit of humanity. As part of the growth plans, UCL is seeing big physical developments, including the refurbishment of existing areas, as well as the creation of new spaces within the campus.

The UCL Wilkins Terrace and Refectory is a joint project, with the refurbishment of the Old Refectory and the building of a brand new exterior space in the heart of the UCL campus. The brief for the Refectory was to restore it to its original state and then relaunch it as an attractive alternative to the offsite eateries. The Refectory would also be used as a dynamic multi- purpose space for students taking advantage of extended working hours. Wilkins Terrace on the other hand would be a new build area offering a multi-functional open terrace, over what was once a cluttered service yard. The aim of the terrace was to provide an attractive outdoor space for students and staff alike to host large scale events.

International architectural and design practice, BDP, were commissioned to reinvigorate the spaces with lighting providing users with a modern, comfortable and stimulating visual environment to support health, wellbeing and alertness. It was paramount that the lighting design offered complete flexibility to accommodate the range of events UCL wanted to host in the areas, as well as to provide general ambient lighting throughout the working hours.

BDP selected LED Linear VarioLED Flex Hydra fittings, supplied through Architainment Lighting, to light the Old Refectory. A round diffuser was used to illuminate the raft lighting, offering the Refectory a distinct day and evening atmosphere. The lighting subtly dims up or down to add vibrancy and punch during the day and warm accents during the evening. A large 10m diameter pendant creates a focal point and provides a correlation with the lighting concept. The restored Refectory offered the challenge of enhancing the beautiful original architecture – the supporting arches connecting the main space to the orangeries were once hidden by low suspended ceilings. The team at BDP used uplighting to reveal the arches and to add some timeless elegance to the space.

For Wilkins Terrace, the brief was for a very subtle lighting scheme, tightly woven within the architecture. The lighting is integrated and low level, and the focus is on the newly erected 4th Façade accentuated with uplights in the stone reveals. BDP used the Philips Color Kinetics Graze QLX Powercore to graze the facades, as well as the LED Linear VarioLED Flex Phobos to illuminate the steps, benches and fixed furniture. The architectural detail allowed for little space on the fixed external furniture and stone steps, however the team at Architainment Lighting were on hand to assist and enable the linear LED solutions to be installed seamlessly.

Project Designer, Lora Kaleva of BDP said ‘Architainment Lighting represent a great range of products for many applications. We used a variety of the LED Linear indoors and outdoors LED tapes to great effect. We also used Colour Kinetics linear projectors for their variety in optics and solid performance. Having one product with so many beam angles meant that all the façade lighting could be done utilising only one range of products making installation and maintenance easier’.

‘The Architainment team were fantastic to work with. They responded quickly to queries and helped a lot on site with technical knowledge and product support. Their dedication to help create a beautiful end-result went above and beyond the regular call of duty’.

Equipment Used

LED Linear VarioLED Flex Hydra LD25 W840 3000 mm (with profile and covers)

LED Linear VarioLED Flex Side View ECO LD10 W830

LED Linear VarioLED Flex Phobos W930 TV IP67

Philips eW Graze QLX Powercore (assorted lengths and beam angles)