News

The St. Botolph Building

October 31 2011 — by Karina Armburg Jennings
Completions
The St. Botolph Building is a new build speculative office development in the City of London by Minerva plc, designed by Grimshaw and consisting of 560,000 square feet of lettable space over 14 storeys.

We initially designed the lighting scheme for the internal public areas: the reception, central lift core, outer stair cores and atrium, before assuming an overseeing role for the client to ensure that the original vision was delivered.
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Image by James Newton
Everything was designed to aid the fast and efficient transfer of workers around the building, from the two large entrances, to the vast reception, to the split reception levels to allow the loading of the high tech lift system (with two independently moving cars in each shaft), to the huge lift lobby and bridge structure.

The lighting design concept aims to create a journey following the movement from the entrances to the individual office receptions, highlighting key elements to assist with way-finding, whilst emphasising the dramatic and dynamic nature of the spaces and structures.

The journey begins at the revolving doors, which are strongly highlighted by downlighting. Once into the reception, spotlighting draws attention to the reception desks.

The visitor is then faced with the vastness of the rest of the reception space. In order to avoid a dark and gloomy atmosphere, the space’s vertical surfaces were lit, resulting in a glowing outer perimeter to the whole reception and a brighter perimeter to the lower ground space to create a visual draw, with the overall impression of luminosity and brilliance.

In conjunction with the architect, we developed a cladding system of fins consisting of fully integrated lighting and a textured detail panel for the light to wash. 2,500 custom LED fittings and 8km of extrusion were used, forming not only the walls but also the balustrade system from light.

Extreme efforts were made to integrate the light seamlessly and to achieve absolute visual consistency across the huge number of light fittings.

Warm white downlighting is provided throughout the building which highlights the bold, dominant cool white light at the reception. However, there was a need to treat the lift cars as more personal, human spaces; these are therefore lit in contrasting warm tungsten light, which is switched off when the cars are unoccupied.

On exiting the lift outside the offices, the lift lobbies and bridges are underlit to be coherent with the rest of the lift core, whilst the atrium roof structure has been uplit to ensure that the space appears light and airy regardless of the office tenants’ lighting.

Early in the design process, glazed floors were added at the central core in order to prevent the huge structure being too imposing and forming a heavy presence in the atrium. This was then uplit using a custom-designed integrated profile system; the result being a glowing, animated structure which has become the heart of the building.