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January 7th 2012

ESPA Life spa at The Corinthia Hotel

ESPA Life at Corinthia is now one of London's largest spas, yet sensitive, smart light design means that guests experience it as a cosy, calm, private world.

Atmospheric functionality peaks in the sub-basement, where Ellie Greisen of Lighting Design International staged a stunning light scene in the black marble pool room. 

The light which is cast up from the bottom of the stainless steel pool passes through ever-moving water, creating dynamic patterns on the white ceiling while illuminating the entire room.

Colour-changing, dimmable fittings were used to precisely define the steps and to illuminate the feature wall of gold-veined black Tunisian marble.


'The whole feeling is really relaxed,' says Ms. Greisen. 'It's like another world.'

'There's an 'infinity' ripple over the pool edge,' she says. 'We didn't want this to be a trip hazard as this room is supposed to be mostly dark, so we concealed side-emitting fibres below the waterline around the edge. It creates a nice glow.'

'We wanted to light evenly across the whole ceiling, not just at the edge. So it had to be flush fittings across the bottom of the pool that people can comfortably walk on.'

'When designing light, you're thinking all the time about how someone will feel when they are there. That's what you try to understand. You want an overall feeling and effect, but it must always be functional too.'

ESPA Life spa

The Corinthia Hotel
Whitehall Place

London, England


Lighting design

Ellie Greisen

Lighting Design International


Lighting distributor

Light Projects Group


Photo courtesy Lighting Design International
More photos at



Aquarius 35 fitting by Roblon 

Feature wall

30 Aquarius 35 Medium fittings
261 m PMMA fibre
1 250-watt dimmable light generator 

DMX control, colour wheel & CTC filter


Pool steps
10 Aquarius 35 Medium fittings
102 m PMMA fibre
1 250-watt dimmable light generator 

DMX control, colour wheel & CTC filter

Pool underwater
39 customized Aquarius fittings
440 m x Roblon PMMA Ø8 mm fibre

3 150-watt dimmable light generators 

DMX control & CTC filters

Customized colour wheels

Pool edge
94 m PMMA sidelight fibres
2 150-watt dimmable light generators 
DMX control & CTC filters 
Customized colour wheels

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