When Zumtobel Lighting was approached with the requirements for the lighting ‘Believe in Better Building’ Sky office building in London, it was clear that SLOTLIGHT infinity, the world’s first continuous light line, was the product to give Sky the look they wanted with the required performance for office lighting. Indeed, the brief to provide a high degree of transparency between the various spaces and rooms, continuity in lighting and luminaire appearance combined with a cohesive overall arrangement, made SLOTLIGHT infinity the perfect choice for the project.
As well as creating a super-flexible workspace for a fast-changing corporate culture, the design of the Believe in Better Building has been designed by Arup Associates and focuses on creating specific, holistic, integrated conditions for optimising the health and well-being of the people in this building. It is the first building in the UK to be designed in accordance with the emerging Wellness Certification principles. The key principles of which are quality day-lighting, air quality, natural material selection, and great design. The team also specified materials that have low or no VOC content to avoid off-gassing problems. The extensive use of natural wood, internal and external greening provides human delight, celebration of SKY culture, and for human-nature interactions within the building.
As lead lighting designer to the project, Arup’s lighting group worked closely with the architecture team to develop the concept. This led to the idea of using seamless runs of diffuse linear light. With the proposed run lengths of up to 29 metres through the space, any inconsistencies in the lit effect or joins in the diffuser would be obvious, so a perfectly even, single piece, continuous diffuser was critical to the success of the project. SLOTLIGHT infinity can be installed in up to 20 metre lengths as standard, without jointing, interruption, or any of the dark spots traditionally associated with light lines. Its length is specifiable to within 250mm, and can be extended as in the case of the Sky project, which features two 29-metre lengths.
Having decided on the concept, the team worked in close collaboration to design the setting out. This was an iterative process, taking into consideration the desired aesthetic affect and technical requirements as well as coordinating the integration with services – all of which was conducted on a short timeframe. The luminaires are precisely centered over key content displays to focus attention, and terminate tight to the walls to fully express the ceiling plane.
As the office design features a series of glazed partitions, and contains flat screen monitors, reflection studies were also required to inform the positioning of the lines. The SLOTLIGHT infinity is available with a choice of four diffuser types – including one designed specifically for office use with a specially engineered distribution profile that achieves a glare rating of UGR < 19, in compliance with EN12464: 2011. The availability of this profile was crucial to achieving the effect without creating disturbing glare that would affect the occupants.
The SLOTLIGHT system installed incorporates eBox, a centralised emergency power supply that eliminates the need for Nickel Cadmium batteries. As well as being a solution that is less harmful to the environment, eBox allows easy reporting on the status of the emergency luminaires removing the requirement for facility management to spend time on testing. It also simplifies installation, as well as keeping the size of the profile to a minimum.
The result is a truly striking project that has been well received by its occupants. The skillful application of SLOTLIGHT infinity linear lighting has allowed it to become an integral part of the architecture. The carefully placed lines visually connect the spaces and emphasise the flow between them to create the unique look and feel, while simultaneously fulfilling the client’s functional requirements. SLOTLIGHT infinity makes a great contribution to the design of the building as the glowing lines of light create a dynamic sense of perspective, spatial generosity and unifies space, whilst drawing out the strong lines in the architecture.