Winner: Gasholders London, Kings Cross by Speirs + Major
Image Credit: James Newton; Peter Landers
Sponsored by ATRIVM
Gasholders London is a development of 145 apartments set within a triplet of listed gasholder guide frames in King’s Cross, London. The design showcases Speirs + Major’s skill in working with varying qualities of light and dark, resulting in a scheme that supports a deeply personal experience of the buildings, while also revealing the beauty of the historic exterior frames and celebrating the modern architecture within.
The lit image of Gasholders London is composed to reveal the beauty of the heritage framework, while avoiding light spill on to the dwellings within. Highlighting the detail in the structures, warm light is grazed up the front face of each of the light grey finished gasholder columns. The central space that connects the three buildings is the brightest element in the tableau, appearing as the glowing heart of the scheme, and the source of light itself.
At a macro scale, the lighting in each of the three buildings is designed to enhance the experience of looking up and through the atria toward the sky. A refined and restrained lit approach supports this with a simple wash of light to the circular walls that supplements and balances available natural light. Set into a concealed cove, the light source is entirely hidden from view. The light itself is programmed to respond to the changing quality of natural light over the day and into the evening. At night, the glass dome and structure above the atrium are deliberately left dark, transforming into a mirror that reflects the atrium back on itself. Standing in the centre of the circular space, looking up, the effect is a kaleidoscope of circular patterns and reflections.
The judges said...
‘An exemplar of precision, attention to detail and integration’
Finalists & Judges’ Comments
Wilkins Refectory & Terrace, University College London by BDP
‘Well designed exterior and interior spaces’
The Constellation at the Founder’s Memorial Abu Dhabi by dpa lighting consultants
‘Well designed to allow the delicate sculpture to shine’
Pentagonal Portal and The Experience Tunnel by Jason Bruges Studio
‘Unique and intriguing’
Light Waterfall by Kris Lin International Design
‘A dynamic feature’
Dolce & Gabbana Venice Palazzo Boutique by Mindseye Lighting
‘Creates a vibrant and stimulating environment’
Haz Restaurant by Nulty
‘Thoughfully balanced light levels to create intimacy and drama in a restaurant setting’
Hide by Speirs + Major
‘A wonderful lesson in using light and darkness to create atmosphere’
Slack by Studio O+A
‘Sheer creative use of lighting’