This art deco building on Piccadilly is considered to be Architect Joseph Emberton’s masterpiece. It was also the famed Simpsons’ department store and is now Waterstones’ flagship location – it’s no wonder the bookstore’s head office wanted to get in on the act and relocate there.
We were appointed to produce a sustainable and energy efficient lighting solution that would provide a functional and inviting workplace. Delivering an architectural lighting design scheme in historic, listed buildings is without doubt an exciting opportunity, but there are always challenges and so the pressure was on.
The offices are located right at the top and bottom of the building with over eight miles of bookshelves in-between (yes, eight miles!). The basement office lacked daylight penetration so our bespoke design involved dynamic illumination within the perimeter trough detail to mimic the “missing” daylight, and make employees feel like they’re anything but “downstairs”.
On the top floor the lighting scheme complemented the flexible interior using a combination of suspended circular, bi-directional fittings and perimeter track and spots to create contrast and highlight bookcases around the room.
Photography: © John Ward Photography
— Paul Nulty