Leading London-based lighting consultants, Pritchard Themis, have designed a bespoke light fitting based on Reggiani’s elegant Yori pendant. They have used it in their new lighting scheme devised as part of the refurbishment of London’s iconic Television Centre in Wood Lane. The custom-made Yori fittings, suspended within the building’s Grade II listed The Helios lounge, provide the very latest in lighting technology in a stylish installation that has been modified to compliment and work in unison with the original period design.
The W12 site was the headquarters of BBC Television from 1960 and well-known for several standout features such as the ‘atomic dot’ wall in front of the original Studio One; the iconic central ring courtyard and its celebrated golden Helios statue around which Roy Castle famously tap-danced back in the Seventies. The site was purchased from the BBC in July 2012 by property developers Stanhope plc. They worked with award-winning architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris to sympathetically convert the existing Grade II listed building as well as adding some new-build areas.
The refurbished Television Centre provides premium retail and office space; three television studios and post-production facilities already being used by ITV, Sky, Channel 4 and, of course, the BBC; upscale residential apartments ranging from studios to 3-bedrooms, all with complementary entertainment and leisure facilities located very nearby; an independent cinema; a private residents’ gym/club, Soho House, along with a boutique hotel. The surrounding area has also been tastefully reconfigured and planted by leading landscape architects, Gillespies, in addition to introducing new community and public space areas.
Pritchard Themis designed the lighting for the whole development but certain key areas shine out for their uniqueness. The Grade II listed north lobby is one of these. This grand, double-height space was the original reception space for the television studios through whose doors innumerable well-known British television personalities have walked from the 1960s onwards. The more notable features in this area that are of special period interest include an imposing mosaic mural by the renowned British artist, John Piper, now restored to its former glory, along with the original floors and timber clad walls.
Almost 200 of Reggiani’s custom-made Yori fittings were commissioned by Pritchard Themis for the north lobby to complement the design of the Grade II listed wooden lattice grid ceiling. They also kept in close contact with Reggiani to ensure that production of the redesigned Yori pendants was to their exact specifications – in aluminium with a special brushed gold finish, a white diffuser ring towards the base and a clever circular plate detail above to catch and reflect the light diffused below. In addition and in order to achieve the intended final effect, every single pendant had to be suspended at exactly the right height from above the level of the ceiling so that all the luminaires hung perfectly central to the individual wooden ‘diamonds’ of the ceiling.
Commenting on the project, Peter Pritchard stated: “We based our redesign on the original Reggiani luminaire with the Yori fitting still retaining all of its high-functioning characteristics but with the addition of a reflected golden glow from the circular plates”. He continued: “We also opted for high-specification DALI drivers (with the drivers themselves repositioned outside the fittings to a remote location) to make sure we achieved smooth and reliable dimming. With so many light fittings in close proximity it was imperative that the drivers behaved in a correct and stable fashion – and this worked perfectly. The result is a lighting solution that is sympathetic to all the existing features; in keeping with the original period feel of the space and aesthetically very pleasing”.