Wednesday 04 Apr 2012


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The lighting scheme for the 2 Waterhouse Square office refurbishment is a unique achievement where architecture and lighting join to re-vitalise the Grade II* setting and bring unity between its Victorian and 1980's buildings.

The procession of public courtyards at Holborn Bars has been extended into the building via a newly glazed entrance and by subtle lighting to the original Waterhouse faience-clad columns.

The sensitively lit decorative columns within the Victorian entrance provide a calm transition space for the visitor as a prelude to the theatrical experience of the atrium beyond.

The focus of the atrium's dynamism begins at the up-lit white spiralling reception desk; the in-situ marble staircase picks up the upwardly moving spiral with a luminous wash of blue, set against low ambient light. The geometry of the spiral is manifest in a bespoke aluminium extruded tube supported from the new atrium glazing, fritted to create a subtle counter spiral. Within the tube's recessed shadow nestles node LED lights that play off the polished metal finish.

The LEDs bring colour and movement to the 1980's atrium space and through timed effects appear to journey into the Victorian building, before re-appearing en-route to the top of the up-lit atrium canopy. The ‘sliced cylinder' atrium shape thereby realises its complete geometry via this dynamic feature and its linking of the two building masses.

The scheme uses widely available low-energy lighting products to facilitate maintenance and minimise energy use. The longevity of the aesthetics of the feature lighting for the speculative offices is enhanced by its ability to be re-programmed and colour-changed to suit requirements of future tenants.

The creatively lit atrium provides opportunity for intensification and flexibility of use in a previously lifeless space - and has transformed it into an asset to the landlord and the building's heritage.

Lighting design: Hoare Lea Lighting 

EPR Architects Limited