Berkeley Square is a traditional London square in the heart of Mayfair. The square was named after John Berkeley, the first Lord of Berkeley of Stratton and was laid out by the architect William Kent in the mid 18th century. The garden is home to one of the oldest London Plane trees in central London planted in 1789. With such a tranquil setting in the heart of London, the garden had been surrounded by residential buildings with notable residents such as Winston Churchill, George Canning and Charles Rolls. Many of the buildings were later turned into shops with occupants such as a carpenter’s, distillers, hosier, tailors, apothecary and recently into modern-day offices and night clubs. The garden was also made famous by the song ‘The Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square’, sung by various singers including Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.

With a romantic heritage, Berkeley Square has become one of London’s most prestigious addresses. 25 Berkeley Square is a Grade II-listed, mixed-used building overlooking Berkeley Square with long views from the Ritz and Piccadilly, within the Mayfair Conservation Area. Studio 29 was appointed as a lighting designer by Lazari Investments and worked alongside Forme UK architects to refurbish this 1906 building. The main objective of the project was to enhance the grandeur of the building, setting it apart from the other unlit buildings in Berkeley Square and reinforcing the main site lines from Piccadilly while adding additional floors on the roof.

The challenge for this project was to create a lighting scheme that celebrates the historical and architectural heritage of the building whilst being sympathetic to its surroundings. Studio 29 undertook a site survey to determine the main viewpoints of the building and to ensure that the lighting scheme would benefit the townscape along with being considerate of the site context.

Another challenge was to balance between highlighting various architectural details and keeping the light fittings discreet on the facade. Lighting trials were undertaken on site to review performance, colour temperature and illuminance. Only tried and tested luminaires were specified to ensure they were right for the job and had a reputable lifespan. The luminaires were carefully disguised within architectural features so that they were unnoticeable during the day. Custom cowls were designed for the linear LED in front of windows to ensure people looking out from the offices are blinded by hot spots.

As there’s no other façade lighting within Berkeley Square a mixture of warm and very warm white light was chosen to enhance the warmer tones in the stone, making this corner of Berkeley Square more welcoming within the public realm. A mixture of 3000K and 2500K was used to provide contrast and depth, whilst the mansard roof was lit with 4000K to compliment the dark grey slate and create striking beams to pick out the acroterions.

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