Multi-award-winning lighting design practice Michael Grubb Studio was appointed to provide the lighting design and delivery through to construction for the Lift 109 at Battersea Power Station. Lift 109 is a one-of-a-kind experience, combining a dynamic audio-visual experience with breath-taking 360-degree views of the London skyline from 109 metres above the ground. The 15-square-metre glass elevator travels inside the interior of the power station’s northwest chimney and presenting unobscured views of London night and day.

The overall concept designed by Michael Grubb Studio was to allow visitors to be immersed in a dynamic lighting experience, providing an unforgettable and awe-inspiring journey into the power station and enhancing visitor experience.

Upon entry to the Turbine Hall A, visitors can view the immense, bespoke, seven-tiered circular, lighting pendant hung in the vast north-west window above an interactive AV table. Visitor interactions, in response to narratives inspired by Battersea Power Station, trigger surges in power that ignite the Turbine inspired pendant and AV table through an array of light delivered by 172 individually addressed nodes and coloured rings of light.

Leading on from this is a complete 360-degree lighting experience in the media room, celebrating the history and culture of the building.

The express lift takes visitors to the bottom of the chimney, with lighting acting as a guide up the chimney steps. Single luminaires light the entrance doorway, creating anticipation for what lies beyond. Michael Grubb Studio implemented Oculi circular infinity mirrors, which chase light, to sit at the top of the stairs and create an intense build-up of light casting down to visitors as they wait for their journey into the chimney.

The lighting experience inside the chimney is awe-inspiring. Dynamic light shows within the chimney interact with visitors throughout various light sequences. Upon stepping into the lift, the rings pulsate and multiply, and the light quickly raises up and comes crashing down into a crescendo. The lighting extends to infinite across the lift walls and ceiling as the elevator reaches the height of its ascent. As the lift descends, the ring lights shine outwards in a halo of white light, granting visitors an intimate illumination of the interior architecture of the chimney.

The Chimney Lift experience has been designed by Ralph Appelbaum Associates (RAA) in partnership with Sysco Productions and Squint/Opera. As a mega project, this required complex co-ordination and collaboration between multiple parties at different stages. The entire experience, across all disciplines, incorporated technical challenges of an epic scale to deliver a dynamic, unforgettable experience within the iconic, heritage environment that is Battersea Power Station.

The lighting design by Michael Grubb Studio has elevated the experience of visitors to Lift 109 at Battersea Power Station, illuminating the interior architecture of the chimney and immersing visitors in a dynamic lighting experience that is awe-inspiring and unforgettable.

Additional design credits:

Lead Consultant Exhibition Design and Art Direction of Media: Ralph Appelbaum Associates
Lighting Designer for the Exterior and Interior of Battersea Power Station: Speirs Major
Squint Opera: Media Design Input and Production
Lift Engineering/Design: OTIS (main lift) and Schindler (express lifts)
Sysco: Audiovisual Hardware Design and Engineering
Security and MEP Consultant: Steensen Varming
Project Management and QS: Fraser Randall
Lead Contractor: Beck

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