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

CLIENT – English Heritage

This beautiful property is located in an E2 environmental zone, in a relatively dark sky areas of the countryside, south of Cambridgeshire. The owners wanted to add an elegant new kitchen extension, but their first planning application was rejected, because of concerns that the light pollution from the new addition would be too intrusive on the neighbouring church and churchyard, to the detriment of the area.

Their architect, Neil Dusheiko, approached us at SKR to assist and advise on the plans for lighting the interior and exterior of the extension, to ensure that the plans would demonstrate how sensitive the new build would be to its setting – and even complementary. We also worked very closely with planning consultant Jacquie Andrews from Howard Sharp & Partners.

The final lighting report for the planning application focused on all elements of the new scheme, and more: the original building, the area surrounding the property, and the exterior lighting within the church grounds.  We undertook extensive exterior light measurements, a photographic survey, analysis of all current and new interior house lighting, and a 3D light calculation modelling analysis.

Bringing all these elements together, we were able to prove that there would be no significant light pollution, and that the new project would in fact be an improvement to the lighting footprint of the area.

We are proud to report that with our assistance and expert input, the new planning application was passed without objection.

 This was the client’s testimonial

“We used Neil Skinner at SKR LIGHTING DESIGN for a lighting survey which we needed for our planning application. We had been refused planning siting light pollution on the Church adjacent as the reason. Neil came on site to gather an extremely thorough amount of evidence which was presented in a clear and professional report which we could submit to planning, which subsequently reversed the rejection from the planning dept without having to go to appeal.

Neil was a pleasure to work with, his attention to detail and timings was exemplary. I would highly recommend Neil Skinner and SKR.”

Carlisle Cathedral constructed in the 12th century, with its medieval features of grandeur and style where the lighting scheme was designed to highlight the beautiful painted ceiling of the chancel. Bespoke luminaries were specifically designed for the project to ensure a discreet lighting scheme that is both functional and mounted in a way that does not damage the listed building envelope. The emphasis was to feature the history of the cathedral and improve the ambiance for the performances that take place. The lighting delivers flexibility to suits various events throughout the year thanks to the lighting control system.

Project Lighting Designer Neil Skinner whilst at LDP/Lightmatter

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 feature of the landscape: 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 which would be visible from a distance. the impact of light pollution 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.  

The Rows at Chester are a unique series of two tired and mostly black and white half-timbered buildings joined with long galleries used as shopping arcades. They consist of covered walkways at the first floor behind which are entrances to shops while at street level is another set of shops and other premises. Rows were built in the four main streets leading out from Chester Cross.

Dating from the medieval era, the Rows may have been built on top of rubble remaining from the ruins of Roman buildings, but their origin is still subject to speculation. Today the premises on the street and Row levels are used for a variety of purposes; most are shops, but there are also offices, restaurants, cafés, and meeting rooms. Chester Rows are one of the city’s main tourist attractions.

Project Lighting Designer Neil Skinner whilst at LDP/Lightmatters 

Residential refurbishment of English countryside house. Completed in 2017; a warm and welcoming atmosphere was wanted by the homeowner. SKR sensitively worked with the existing parts of the building and help create new contemporary lighting elements.

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.

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.

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.


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