Pizza Express is one of the few companies that can be said to have had a lighting strategy, which is synonymous with its brand and plays a genuine role in forming the corporate image. The simple technique of individually spotlighting each table is almost as recognisable in the high street as the circular art nouveau style signage.
In recent years the clarity of the scheme has suffered as the chain struggled to keep pace with lighting technology and navigate through the requirements of current legislation. Moreover, how could the need to modernise and maintain a fresh appeal be balanced with the obvious advantages of consistency and a ‘proven’ scheme.
The Pizza Express property portfolio is large and varied, so a strategy needed to be developed which can deal with significant differences in terms of ceiling heights and types of buildings, whilst maintaining a clear visual identity across the chain. Also, Pizza Express has a new zoning strategy within their restaurants e.g. fast dining at the restaurant entrance, a Family zone overlooking the Pizzaiola and a Couples zone in the quieter parts; so we were asked to consider this from a lighting point of view to help distinguish these different areas.
One of the main challenges was to introduce a new track and spotlighting scheme, with better performance and a better aesthetic appearance, which would be feasible in terms of budget, and practical in terms of maintenance and operations.
The main focus of our new concept was to create different pools of light with varying light intensities for the restaurants’ zones. For example: fast dining = bright areas with large pools of light, compared to the couples zone = small pools of light at lower levels for a more intimate feel. All this was done using the same fitting, but with different reflectors and lenses and only using two lamp types. This takes the onus away from the Pizza Express staff when it comes to lamp maintenance!
Fittings used were:
Lucent – Prospot - Track mounted Spotlight with various reflectors
High Output Linear LED strip – for shelf lighting & Pizzaiola counter details
Linear Fluorescent Batten, warm white lamp – for window treatments and banquette seating up-lighting