Friday 15 Apr 2011


"Green" lighting without compromise

Casa Maria is a recently remodelled private house in London. Built in the mid 18th century as a billiard room for the adjacent manor house, the 175m2 building was converted into a family residence in the late 1950's.

The architect's vision for the space was a modern family house with a central feature acrylic piece that links the 3 floors and transmits light from top to bottom. The lighting design was a response to the architecture throughout and each element was detailed with the architect to ensure the lighting supports the design for each space.

The lighting to most of the house was very discreet and achieved through ceiling slots, coves and flush backlit panels concealed within joinery or walls. The hallway areas were illuminated using flush vertical strips of fluorescent, flooding light into these areas as if sunlight were spilling through an open door. This approach was then countered with more dominant lighting features to the main living space with custom up/down linear pendants set out in a sculptural form as a light feature and soft colour washes onto the central acrylic fins from colour changing LED's concealed within slim light-boxes hidden within the floor build up. The design of the lighting control system allowed the lighting within the house to define each space or link all 3 levels, and allows the lighting to be controlled to minimise energy use.

As with most current residential projects the design had to conform to Part L of the building regulations, which demands 25% of the installed lighting is energy efficient. Rather than see this as a restriction on design freedom the design embraces this ethic and actually achieves a 62% energy efficiency rating. This not only gives the owner a lighting scheme that doesn't "cost" the earth, it also means they rarely replace a bulb.
Casa Maria shows new regulations can be achieved without compromising the interior aesthetic, and if embraced at concept stage can drive the design in new and exciting directions.

Architect: Scape Architects (

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