Award-winning lighting consultancy PointOfView was recently engaged by architects Bates Smart to light their new Sydney Studio, located in a 1940s built and art deco designed building, the former offices of the 20th Century Fox Film Corporation.
The original building was once a hub of glamorous film activity but unfortunately fell on hard times. While the exterior retained a stellar image, the interior was cramped and economically unviable. It was brought back to life by Barton and McCarthur, in conjunction with Don Cameron and Fearns Studio, who turned the interior labyrinth of film vaults, offices, screening rooms and storage cupboards into the open and inviting space it is today; home to a Japanese Bicycle Shop, an intimate bar, a bustling food emporium, a Golden Age Cinema and now the office of Bates Smart Architects.
PointOfView's brief was to enhance the clean, timeless and restrained architecture while simultaneously creating a comfortable and stimulating environment in which to conduct business. As the majority of their client's tasks are screen based, lower than recommended indirect light is used in the work spaces. However a perception of brightness is achieved by lighting the ceilings and walls. Suspended, black linear fluorescent uplighting profiles provide a sense of rhythm throughout the open spaces and offset the white painted exposed beams and services.
The reduced light levels in the workspace areas focus staff attention on the collaborative nature of the interior design, accented by another layer of lighting on tracks. The highlight also pinpoints the architectural features of the studio and establishes more inviting activity zones such as reception and break out workspaces.
A layer of decorative lighting was applied to several areas to create a visual anchorage. The main meeting rooms on the ground floor have a trimless, recessed ring to provide general lighting while spotlighting through the feature screen projects shards onto the reception floor with an inviting affect. Other meeting zones are indentified by large, glowing discs that contrast with the linear fittings over the work spaces.
The staircase is fitted with a highly polished, chrome oval ceiling feature that highlights the materiality of the original handrail, uplights the ceiling and creates an open space with a sense of height and volume whilst reflecting the movement and activity in the stairwell. Custom elements such as this reflect the building's art deco heritage.