Royal Festival Hall

London, United Kingdom


Allies and Morrison

Dennis Gilbert


Heritage, Highly Commended, The Lighting Design Awards, 2009
Arts and Education

Architecture + Environment

Royal Festival Hall is the only post-war building to be listed Grade I. Our starting point for the re-design of the lighting was extensive research into the original 1951 lighting philosophy.

Our lighting concept built on the precedent of the original scheme to ensure authenticity and a respect for the architecture. In parallel, we used the opportunities presented by the alterations to provide exciting possibilities for future use.

For the external areas, we looked to extend the presence of the building and to underscore the cultural values of the South Bank. Generated largely from the view through to the lit interior, the image of the building suggests a safe haven - a warm and secure environment - and one that is produced without over lighting. To heighten the effect, we treated external built elements with a contrasting cool white light.

We approached the interior public space as a lit landscape, paying particular attention to how light could reveal the diagram of the building - the so-called "egg in a box", and how we could assist with wayfinding.

Improved lighting control now balances levels of illumination by day and night, and also allows more variability for multifunctional needs. The use of improved efficiency fittings and high efficacy sources help to reduce running costs and create a more sustainable solution.

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