A theatrically functional design challenge lay, literally, at the centre of the refurbishment project at London's 21-storey office complex '200 Aldersgate'.
The MoreySmith design team met it with a theatrically functional solution. MoreySmith director Nicola Osborn created two breath-taking chandeliers that draw the eye as you are drawn up the building on escalators. Working closely with Light Projects, the designers used PMMA fibre to send consistent, warm light through almost 600 one-metre-long acrylic rods. Precise, uniform light transmission was one key priority and maintenance was another, says Chris Schulkins of Light Projects. "It is a tricky space. We did look at LEDs but there just is no fix-and-forget LED solution. They needed lighting that could be maintained easily in the future. So fibre optics were the only realistic solution. We hid the generators in the ceiling, where the lamps could be easily changed." Sheer functionality is matched by sheer effect in the end result. "The way the light comes through the rods is very dramatic," says Mr. Schulkins. "There's a very nice glow both through the rods and at their ends. When you go up the escalators, you get so many different views and angles and perspectives. It is really quite stunning."