Brinkburn Priory

Client:
English Heritage
Project Date:
2004

Founded in 1135 for canons of the Augustinian order, Brinkburn was restored in the 19th century and now survives in its entirety as Northumberland's finest example of early Gothic architecture. It is easy to understand why the Augustinian canons who arrived at Brinkburn in 1135AD chose this beautiful setting for their priory, lying as it does in a hollow, almost surrounded by a loop in the River Coquet. Parts of the monastic buildings are incorporated into the elegant adjacent manor house. The magic of Brinkburn Priory lives on in the visitor's memory long after its graceful Gothic architecture and glowing stained glass have been left behind.

This was a very sensitive lighting and electrical project to coordinate. After a number of site meetings and workshops, it was concluded that the vertical surfaces of the Priory could not be touched. A totally bespoke design and product were required to provide the various scenes illumination, whilst not disturbing the original stone work. The lighting design was to illuminate the interior for functional and architectural purpose, but also to provide event quality illumination for musicians for classical music concerts. Oversized, floor standing, adjustable spotlight products were especially design for the project. By using a floor standing product, no walls were touched. However, the Victorian floor was carefully disassembled and reassembled to allow for new power cables to run around the floor.  All the lighting can be unplugged and removed to bring the Priory back to its original stark beautiful state.

As a place of serenity and worship, creating a welcoming and calm environment is absolute key within the project. Without an appropriate lighting control dimming system, the lighting project would not work. By using a control system, to adjust the light levels and set various scenes for services and events, the various spaces throughout the Abbey are scene set to appropriate light levels. This means that depending on the event occurring or daylight ingress levels, the intensity of the artificial light is adjusted accordingly. By using the lighting control system, vast amounts of energy is saved, along with running and maintenance costs.

Project Lighting Designer Neil Skinner whilst at 1860 Lighting Consultants

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