Below the tracks of Waterloo Station is Leake Street, a vibrant urban landscape known as the “Graffiti Tunnel”. We’re extremely fond of the tunnel: it’s around the corner from our London studio and it’s an edgy, creative space where anyone can (legally) express their artistic talents with a can of spray paint – and yes, we’ve had a go. Needless to say, working on the area’s respectful regeneration with developers LCR was an honour.
The main objective of the architectural lighting scheme was to highlight and celebrate the street art, while improving the quality of light throughout. Three main elements were considered in the design process: flexibility of the space for events, robustness of the light fittings and showcasing the vivid, colourful and constantly changing graffiti.
A suspended theatrical truss with mounted spotlights spans the length of the tunnel to provide gallery-quality lighting to the art. Linear RGBW uplights sit on top of the truss to illuminate the arched ceiling with a wash of white light, and with colour-changing capabilities they offer a flexible range of coloured effects for different events. Tucked away within the tunnel are a series of retail units, each framed by an archway. Luminaires have been positioned at the base of every arch to emphasise the curved architecture.
Working closely with Secure by Design we made sure that the light fittings used can – where practical – withstand a dose of spray paint: for example, a secondary glass lens has been used within the spotlights and can be easily removed and cleaned, without interfering with the light in the space.
Images: © James French
— Ellie Coombs
— Duko Frankhuizen, Development Manager, LCR