Nulty’s lighting scheme for London’s hottest new hotel and members’ club, The Ned, has overcome the challenges and narrow requirements presented by an historic building.
Parts of the impressive Edwin ‘Ned’ Lutyens masterpiece, located in the heart of the City, are Grade I listed. Consequently, remedial work had to be kept to a minimum whilst Nulty worked with Soho House & Co, EPR Architects and Sydell Group, to breathe 21st century life and compliance into the space.
The Travertine walls throughout the listed public areas of The Ned are a prime example. All original containment routes were utilised in order to avoid defacing the original interior, leaving the architectural features untouched where feasible. Nulty focused on surface mounted, decorative and ornate fixtures rather than contemporary and recessed lighting methods.
Based in Midland Bank’s old headquarters, The Ned covers an impressive 29,450sqm with a range of hospitality offerings (restaurants, bars and bedrooms). The Nulty lighting solution highlights the building’s iconic Lutyens architectural trademarks and complements the branding of each space, whilst maintaining a consistent design
aesthetic. It also provides a balanced level of light and colour temperate to suit all times of day.
The lighting concept throughout the elegantly converted banking hall provides a sense of sophistication and elegance, reminiscent of the golden age of banking and travel. Nine restaurants are located within the magnificent hall, where original listed walnut counters line the entrance and break up each individual dining concession.
Authentic banker’s lights sit on each counter and wash the timber with a soft glow.
A central reception desk (formerly oculus to the floor below) has become a stage for live performances. Light carefully positioned under the perimeter grazes the marble plinth, elevating the feature and creating a dramatic focal point for guests. The large Art Deco skylight above is framed by coffer lighting that further enhances and highlights the architecture of the building, whilst staying true to the original design.
During the evening, light levels are kept low to create a sense of intimacy and vintage glamour for diners. Large Art Deco pendants that hang from the ceiling exude a warm illuminating glow, whilst table lamps provide further depth to each space.
A grand spiral staircase framed by historically inspired decorative wall lights acts like a
spine through all levels of the building, and leads guests down to the exclusive members’
The bar is set within the original bank vault lined with safety deposit boxes which appeared in the James Bond film Goldfinger. The latest retrofit LED lamps, concealed within historically accurate, decorative luminaires, create a warm atmosphere that envelops guests as they enter the barthrough the imposing, original 20-tonne vault door, and bring contrast to the cool steel surroundings. A mix of low-level lighting picks up and highlights the rich interior design, and provides an additional layer of contrast within one of London’s most unique bars.
Upstairs, each of the 252 bedrooms has been fitted with an intuitive ‘toggle switch’ lighting control system, to create flexibility and mood. Staying true to the interior design, the aesthetic of the time period is kept authentic through the use of predominantly lowlevel FF&E lighting, ensuring minimal ceiling interventions. The larger, more opulent suites have tiered chandeliers and more luxurious fittings, whilst the smaller ‘crash pads’ have more subtle pendants and interior fixtures.
Ned’s Club Upstairs is located on a large panoramic rooftop. Nulty used light throughout this area to reinforce the hierarchy and identity of different spaces. On the outdoor terrace, low-level lighting creates intimacy without interrupting the magnificent views across London. High-level decorative lighting has been used in the Roof Bar, where spheres of light hang from the ceiling, adding to the ambience. The two large rooftop domes that visibly crown the building’s façade have been opened up and re-purposed as private function spaces, which have been up-lit to highlight the grandeur of the building’s unique architecture.
Nulty’s lighting scheme complements the narrative of every part of The Ned, making the space a design showstopper.
Daniel Blaker, Nulty’s creative director, says: “This building is a one-of-a-kind. There will always be new hotels, bars and restaurants popping up across London, but the historic centre of London has a value all of its own. Seldom do you get the opportunity to reinstate a prime example of architectural significance to its full opulence and glory. Using some of the latest lighting considerations this charming relic marries the aesthetic of its time, and
the demands of its new future.”