IBM EBii Centre

London, United Kingdom


Interior Design

Timothy Soar


Award of Merit, IIDA Awards, 2001

Best Workplace, UK Lighting Design Awards, 2002

Strategy + Branding

Located within IBM’s London HQ on the South Bank, this marketing centre comprises a series of presentation spaces, meeting rooms, creative workshops and office support areas. Designed in 2001, the aim of the IBM e-Business Innovation Centre was to make customers aware of the possibilities then offered by the internet and e-business, and to challenge their preconceptions. The emphasis was on creative thinking through the use of innovative technology.

Lighting had a proactive role to play in creating a stimulating and dynamic environment throughout the project. The main space encompasses a wide range of sensory experiences including colour, sound and image, simulating natural sunlight, moonlight and weather effects. Using both controlled and random change – a basic level of 30 pre-sets and animations – it is designed so that each client never sees any space the same way twice.

Guides wear a wireless transponder which allows the lighting system to track their position and respond according to where they are in the space. The effect is to create virtual rooms within the main space of the centre.

Elsewhere, moving-head luminaires and linear LED units recessed into wall slots generate multiple colours and pattern projection which support video projection on to HoloPro screens. The use of abstract textures and a unique sequence of coloured filters combine to compose a series of contrasting effects. With changes so slow as to be barely perceptible, the space appears to breathe with morphing coloured light.

Each time a client visits the facility, the mood setting is recorded in a log to ensure that next time they receive a different experience.

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