Atrium lends its lighting expertise to a renovated project on the historic Cleveland Square.
Whilst at CW-A, Ben Cousins was commissioned to refurbish and renovate an existing two-bedroom apartment in London??s historic Cleveland Square. The brief was to create a contemporary and unique family home, tailored for entertaining and the presentation of the client??s substantial collection of art and sculpture.
The property is spread laterally over the top floor of two 19th century stucco-fronted terraced houses, comprising seven spaces including a principal room with a beautiful exposed roof structure. Ben Cousins worked closely with Atrium to produce a lighting design, which could subtly accentuate this feature and other key architectural elements throughout the home.
Ben Cousins (now Director of Cousins & Cousins), commented on the project, ?We are extremely pleased with this project, and feel we have created an excellent set of spaces for living and entertaining. Working closely with Atrium allowed us to propose an innovative and cohesive lighting solution, tailored to the needs of the client and the overall design aesthetic.??
Here, Sales Director Jeremy Fielding and Project Manager Patrick Lourie, from Atrium, take us through the details of the lighting design throughout the space.
What were your first considerations for this project given the historical context of the building?
The client understood the context of how to light a space, which enabled us to push certain boundaries. We tried to enhance on the architecture and materiality of the interior and exterior by concealing the product as much as possible, but maintaining flexibility within each space.
How detailed was the brief and was it simple to implement or did it conflict with the building and the practicality aspect of the lighting?
As the client decided how they would interact with the environment, they clearly wanted to maximize the vistas to create depth and reduce reflectance in the glazing. What made dealing with the client easier, was that they both understood the importance of lighting, which meant we could be quite creative with our design. This I think was well reflected in the exterior element the best.
What is the key architectural style of the property and how did you work with this in the lighting scheme?
There were many traditional details used within the architecture and we tried to capitalize on them. However, the integration of LEDs behind planting and the cedar paneling create very soft, relaxing environment to enjoy alone or with their quests.
How did you successfully connect the internal and external spaces?
The creation of the roof terrace was very important to the client. They were very keen on the use of the exterior environment and they wanted to enjoy the beauty of the planting, allied to the architecture. The lighting of which became key in creating this connection especially with regards to entertaining and relaxing.
Were there any challenges presented with the unusual layout of the property? How did you overcome them?
The only issue was the Kitchen lighting as the architecture prohibited the use of downlights and there was not high level storage to integrate lighting into. The use of a very minimalist wall mounted track and spot system allowed us to maintain a decent luminance to the kitchen surfaces with an element of flexibility.
The other area was within the Sky Lights. The client wanted to minimize the reflection created at night time when the sky is very dark. This was over come by lighting the individual chimneys to one side of the roof and highlighting some planting to the party wall on the other to eradicate this reflection all together, naturally bring outside in.
Take us through the individual spaces of the property in terms of the lighting used to highlight and create tone and balance within the spaces.
The Lounge/Kitchen area is very open plan with high level beams running through the space. This allowed us to conceal lighting and highlight the structure of the ceiling also creating a lifting effect.
Also within this space was the floating sculpture of the fish. This was a very important aspect of the clients design and had to be well highlighted. The use of track mounted spot lights on the beams allowed the flexibility to do this.
The exterior terrace on this level was also something that needed to be highlighted well. With the use of planting, we could then begin to light these elements allowing you to see the space from inside at night time, also creating some natural colored tones.
As you move through the rest of the first floor through bedrooms and hallways, the use of trimless, baffled downlights allowed a low glare and seamless finish to the ceiling, a very basic way of light spaces, but effective and subtle. We then incorporated linear LED within the Window planter boxes to again, bring in some natural colour and a little flare to each room.
The final part of the apartment was the Roof Terrace. As we have already mentioned, this is a space for relaxation as well as entertaining. This is where the use of concealed LED behind paneling started to create some real atmosphere as well as highlight the planter boxes around the edges of the space.
Which particular use of lighting are you most impressed with?
We would have to say, the Roof Terrace. The atmosphere created by the lighting here really complimented all aspects of the architecture creating a really special environment.
Have you worked with the architects before? Do you have any plans to work with them again?
We have worked with Ben Cousins for the past eight years, when he was co-owner of CW-A, and now at his new practice, Cousins & Cousins. Our approaches are sympathetic, Cousins & Cousins consider the integration of lighting and architecture from the beginning of the design process and involve us from the start. They are able to communicate the importance of good lighting to clients, ensure that there is an adequately apportioned budget and consider the areas where lighting is a key element to the space. We help them realise the look, mood and to manage the budget accordingly.
What is your next architectural project?
We are always talking with Cousins & Cousins about working together to create spectacular lighting solutions for their bespoke residential projects.