KPMG HEADQUARTERS, LONDON
Friday 15 Apr 2011
October 2010 marked the final migration for staff of international award winning accountancy firm KPMG to their new headquarters 15 Canada Square, London.
The move marks the end of five years planning and development for KPMG and three years intensive work for the design team including London based architectural lighting consultants Light Bureau. The £340m building is now home to over 4000 members of staff. Light Bureau were tasked with providing specialist lighting consultancy services to the 400,000 sqft, 14 storey building, working closely with interior specialists Swanke Hayden Connell Architects and M&E engineers Aecom to develop a lighting design solution that met KPMG's brief for permeable space with exceptionally high quality finish that reinforces brand identity and company transparency.
The architectural brief called for a building with few internal barriers and Light Bureau developed a strategy whereby lighting creates rhythm and a hierarchy of illumination, which naturally renders each space permeable.
Light Bureau sought to integrate lighting and architecture wherever possible, including feature elements. All pendants sat within coffers to ensure every fixture location feels deliberate, meticulous and ‘solid' as though they are part of the building fabric. Linear extruded fixtures illuminate the entire length of the core wall, yet the tolerance usually expected within such long runs of linear fittings (over 50 meters) is barely perceptible. The louvres were specially adapted and painted white to ensure they ‘flash up' like an opal diffuser to provide continuity with other fittings whilst providing higher output ratios associated with open luminaires. The main atria are lit with linear fluorescent luminaires utilising specially designed dropped diffusers to provide sideways illumination to the ceiling plane.
A light sculpture, located in the reception entrance lobby, enhances scale of the double height space without enclosing it as Nulty explains "We wanted to create a feature which lowered the perceived height of the void so it didn't feel as though you were sitting in an empty volume of space whilst retaining views through from the mezzanine above."
The level 14 client dining suite comprises large volumes for which Light Bureau designed over-size feature pendants with mains dimmable low energy lamps to fill the space with diffuse light and creating a visual statement. In conjunction with the lighting control system each dining room can feel intimate, providing a convivial dining experience and also bright and airy for general daytime use.