SKR Lighting Design were tasked with providing dramatic yet sympathetic and practical lighting to illuminate ‘Castle Mound’ in Oxford, on which defences were built in 1071AD for William the Conqueror. Whilst the castle itself is no longer there, Castle Mound itself is a considerable structure: 64ft high and 81ft in diameter, with a well chamber 20ft below the surface added to the top of the mound in the thirteenth century.
The mound needed to be lit on a practical level to illuminate its paths to the summit, but also to provide an attractive and intriguing presentation of the mound visible from a distance. Impact on the surrounding environment and energy efficiency also had to be considered, as well as due consideration given to the age and Grade-1-listed status of the monument.
We worked closely with architects, archaeologists, and the local heritage authority to decide on a design. We illuminated the meandering pathways using colour changing floor washers – practical but striking. The existing lighting to the trees on the mound was replaced with colour-changing and energy-efficient light sources.
The end result is a beautiful celebration of an ancient landmark, without negative impact on the surrounding cityscape.
Completed in 2004, Neil Skinner designed the concept for this scheme in conjunction with NAPPER Architects from Newcastle. As lighting designers, it is our duty to enhance the appearance of our projects and there are not many better examples of this than Alnwick Gardens Tree House.
This magical treehouse building and restaurant needed a warm atmospheric scheme for the interior and exterior.
The interior design is an organic and flowing environment, in which was a design challenge to integrate not only functional illumination but also decorative lighting features. As with all of our design work; function illumination is accounted for first, the users of the space need to be able to navigate and feel comfortable in their surroundings. Discreet spotlights were carefully located, adjustability of the spotlights was also important, as this allowed the light to be focussed in the desired way. As so much of the material used is natural and has very rich tones, the quality of light needed to be of the best quality, with a high colour rendering light source. This ensured that the appearance of the wooden interior was to its truest form and further enhanced the natural environment.
Mini-festoon lighting was used to bring the project to life. The festoons were integrated within the furniture and interior elements, such as the natural tree branches. By using this simple, yet original, lighting technique, the interior of the project became a magical fairy tale-like setting. Sparking the imagination of visitors and guests, the decorative lighting added the essential atmospheric dynamic to the project.
The exterior lighting adopted theatrical lighting effects to add a sense of drama, while being cosy, warm and welcoming. The structure of the treehouse is dramatically uplit, which draws the public eye to this significant and unique project, generating excitement and intrigue. The surrounding woodland is also partially illuminated, enforcing the entire concept of the project belonging to the natural surroundings.
Smithfield Square is a community at the heart of Dublin 7. Created as a bustling cultural quarter, Smithfield Square is a vibrant area on Dublin’s northside. Right on the Luas Line, the square boasts high-end apartments as well as commercial property.
As a large historic market square space in Central Dublin, the brief was to provide general illumination and create a landmark. Neil skinner help develop custom designed 25m tall special masts. Included within the mast were ceremonial gas flame burners and high output narrow beam projectors, mounted in a linear arms 5m above the ground which project up to the reflective sails above. These magnificent sails are 3m square and are used to reflect the light softly across the space.
Originally built in 1908 in nouveau style, the indoor market was designed by a polish Architect Juliusz Dzierżanowski in Warsaw, Poland. The name “Koszyki” translates to “Baskets” in English, deriving from the production of wicker baskets. Previously famous for selling goods ranging from foods to clothes, that could only be found at Koszyki today it’s an equally unique indoor food and drink market that attracts people of all ages and taste buds.
Renovated and reopened in 2016, the historical construction of Hala Koszyki, which can be admired inside the building today, is more than 100 years old. Before receiving their second life, the steel elements were covered in a thick layer of rust. As a memento of the pre-renovation appearance of the construction, Hala Koszyki features the original steel components, a structure exposed and visible throughout. High vaulted ceilings, exposed mezzanine walkways and open seating and dining area that fits hundreds is a vibrant meeting place for friends.
The Lighting design at Hala Koszyki is multi layered, the industrial large suspended pendants provide the overall illumination with retro fit LED modules they are efficient and easily controlled for a sustainable lighting design scheme. Feature uplightig to some of the original architectural elements shine a light on the history of the building adding a layer of mood and contrast. Exposed decorative bulbs, suspended at a human centric level add a touch of warm and intimacy in a large hall, creating pockets of unique dinning areas, cleverly breaking up to the space to zones with the medium of light. The central bar has layers of integrated linear lighting, grazing the material finishes and glowing as a central focal point. The exterior seating area is illuminated with festoon lighting to achieve a warm al fresco dining experience, with a backdrop of beautify preserved brick facade.
The indoor food market offers cuisine from around the world, serving trendy cocktails and a wide selection of snacks and drink, can be enjoyed as a passing quick bite to eat or a place to enjoy after work for a wind down.
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
This stylish property features the perfect pairing of modern architecture with the existing house. The lighting design scheme enhances the period features of the house with the addition of sleek decorative lighting in modern extension.
The Parish Church of St. Peter & St. Paul in Deddington, Oxfordshire has been at the heart of the local community since the 13th century. Evolving architecturally since then and in the recent years SKR have played a role in the important events such as at Christmas time by setting up temporary lighting equipment to showcasing festive scenes with dynamic, colour changing projections for all to enjoy during musical events and recitals. In time for the festive season RGB festoon lighting is mounted at the crown of the Tower adding a touch of colour to the village during the darker months of the year.
Newcastle Civic Centre is a central landmark at the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne, it’s a modern cutting edge construction with the lighting design to match. Flooded with colour changing high output projectors, the concrete façade appears to be immersed in colour. The nearby water reservoir adds to the magic of the night scene with reflections of the lighting projections. The Civic Centre is a true modern classic with a touch of colour to that’s fit for any occasion and can be appreciated from across the city.
Interior and exterior lighting design scheme highlighting the wooden and stone features of this beautifully executed barn conversion in Fritwell, Oxfordshire.
This residential property is warm and welcoming with ambient lighting enhancing the atmosphere, accent lighting featuring decorative elements and feature pendant exposing the high ceilings.