Defined by softly illuminated public walkways and beautifully lit garden squares, the lighting scheme for Qatari Diar’s 12.8-acre former military barracks is a deliberately restrained design response to the masterplan by Squire & Partners, Dixon Jones, Kim Wilkie and landscape design by Gustafson Porter + Bowman.
To achieve a traditional lighting aesthetic, we first worked with the landscape architect to develop a signature lamp post in collaboration with Maynard and Neri. The elegant columns might look conventional but there’s much more to them than meets the eye – not only do they provide high-tech lighting (with no light spill), they also house cameras and Wi-Fi access points.
For the stone-built residences, exterior lighting is purposely restrained to preserve the surrounding architecture and streetscape. Entranceways are the only illuminated areas, with subtle uplighting to the sides and integrated lighting underneath canopies.
To honour the only surviving structure from the original barracks, The Garrison Chapel, we lit its bell tower and added a graze of light to the brick facade and underneath handrails of the new-build stairs. Vertical lighting on the surrounding buildings accentuates textured brickwork, while offering enough light to make the square feel safe and inviting.
An important element of the design was to encourage residents and visitors through the development by highlighting key routes, such as Bourne Walk. Here people are naturally guided down the intimate walkway by the rhythmic, low-level lighting details.
Designed to meet a sustainable BREEAM rating, the public realm lighting solution blends seamlessly with neighbouring areas. When you wander into Chelsea Barracks, you don’t sense a break in the intensity or quantity of light from surrounding streets. But you do notice a change in the quality.
Images © James French