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Kings College Chapel, Cambridge, UK by Atelier Ten

The lighting of the historic Kings College Chapel in Cambridge by Atelier Ten has won a Build Back Better PLATINUM Award in the lighting category.

The brief to designers Elga Niemann and Jonathan Gittins was to design a state of the art, flexible interior lighting scheme that would be sensitive to the history and fabric of this important building whilst catering for the diverse range of activity that takes place in the chapel. 

The chapel has no triforium, but rather a 20m sheer wall providing no obvious opportunities for concealing and fixing lighting equipment. To overcome this challenge the team designed custom luminaires with a bespoke clamping mechanism. These were discreetly mounted within the stonework ribs, thereby concealed behind columns in the main view towards the altar.

The luminaires feature multiple adjustable spotlight heads to highlight the beauty of the vault and provide flexible lighting scenes for services and performances. The spotlights use tuneable white LED allowing the warmth of light to be adjusted during the day and to suit different services.

The installed load for the chapel is less than 6kW, extremely low for a building of this size and volume. But the operational energy will be considerably lower due to the sophisticated DMX control system.

With the building already being over 550 years old, longevity of the lighting installation was a consideration from the outset.
The luminaires were designed with future replacement and upgrade in mind. The main aluminium ‘bar’ onto which the spotlight heads are mounted is hollow and houses drivers and controls. This equipment is modular and ‘plug and play’ so can be replaced as necessary or upgraded at end-of-life reusing the aluminium bars. With the spotlight heads, LED modules can be replaced within the existing housings and lenses can be simply interchanged to suit future needs.

Lighting supplier: Stoane Lighting

Picture: Shatanik Mandal