Completed in AD678, Hexham Abbey is one of the earliest seats of Christianity in England and remains at the heart of the town to this day.
As with all heritage projects, the design process is delicate and must be handled sensitively. Neil Skinner was principle lighting designer on this project between 1999 – 2002. Pragmatic solutions were required to illuminate the Abbey, using both theatrical and architectural lighting techniques. Installation locations and cable routes were an issue that were overcome by designing a new spotlight specifically for the project, in partnership with lighting manufacture Light Projects. The spotlights were created for easy of maintenance, maximum flexibility and architectural discreet mounting. Leading decorative lighting supplier Chelsom provided the project with new and updated chandeliers which enhanced the elegance of the space.
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 LDP/Lightmatters