Project
Queen’s Walk, South Bank

Location
London, United Kingdom

Client
Coin Street / South Bank Employers Group

Completed
2006

Photographer
James Newton
Type
Urban

Discipline
Strategy + Branding




The re-lighting of Queen’s Walk on London’s South Bank between the Oxo Tower and the National Theatre formed part of a wider project to upgrade the structure of this popular part of the embankment, and improve the public realm.

As well as re-working the existing heritage lighting to better light the pathway along the Thames, we set blue and white twinkling festoon lighting in the trees to create an ethereal effect reminiscent of moonlight. We then suggested that everything else be left dark, so that walkers could better appreciate the commanding view of the River Thames and the City of London beyond.

The clients’ brave support of this concept enabled us to create a truly magical setting that has become a model for how the retention of darkness has an important role to play in public lighting.

The project was undertaken in two phases. We upgraded the existing cast-iron ‘Sturgeon Lights’ transforming them into highly efficient streetlights. Small perforations in the new reflectors allow the lantern body to glow, so that the original character of the lighting is retained.

The second phase was the installation of the LED festoon lights - 75% white and 25% blue - into some of the mature plane trees that line the walkway. Considerable time was spent mocking up the new LED lighting to get the density and colour balance exactly right, and to avoid damage to the trees.

The result has proved very popular with the public, who continue to provide positive feedback on their enjoyment of the atmosphere at night.

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