Sotheby’s Lighting System

London, United Kingdom


Walker Nicholas

Jared Engineering

Heath Cooper
Museums and Exhibitions

Product + Innovation

Sotheby’s is globally renowned as a leading broker of art, jewellery, real estate and collectables. With a long standing working relationship in place, we were approached to fully upgrade the lighting and lighting infrastructure in the North, Main and East Galleries, the primary spaces of their London premises in New Bond Street.

The use of these spaces is subject to rapid change, from viewings to auctions and events. Given this, our major design challenge lay in creating a flexible infrastructure that would cater for the complex and variable operational requirements of Sotheby’s, whilst also retaining a clean and elegant impression.

To meet the brief, we designed a bespoke custom suspended track system, working closely with the Property & Facilities Management and Operations departments. Designed and refined over two years, the finished system has an apparent simplicity and elegance that belies the level of complexity and flexibility that has been built into it.

Created from two custom-made extrusions which form the central spine and the cladding, the profile is slim with a clean face on its most visible, inner side. The outer, less visible, side is chamfered to make the profile appear even slimmer and to provide easy access to power and data sockets on the angled base plate. The proportion, detailing and suspension height has been designed to correspond to the cornice. The cladding panels are hinged to provide easy access to the centre of the system for maintenance and to enable additional functionality to be added in the future. A channel on the top of the system allows temporary extension cables to be neatly concealed from view.

The system provides full functionality including rigging with clear rated loadings for safety, switched and dimmed power circuits, DMX and Ethernet data, working lights to facilitate changeovers, as well as security and emergency lighting, sound and AV points.

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