Knightsbridge Estate honoured with IALD award of merit

Fifteen award winners representing architectural lighting design projects from six countries comprise the winners of the 32nd Annual International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) International Lighting Design Awards, recognized at a presentation held 5 May at Gotham Hall in Las Vegas, NV USA. Of the fifteen projects recognized, one entry earned a Special Citation, ten earned Awards of Merit and four earned Awards of Excellence.

Accepting the IALD Award of Merit for the KNIGHTSBRIDGE ESTATE were Alkestie Skarlatou, Associate IALD, and Maida Hot, Associate IALD, of GIA Equation.

Knightsbridge Estate is a complex of buildings of different styles and periods, spread over an entire city block. The clients called for a lighting design that would enhance the nighttime appearance of the block while unifying and emphasizing the architectural elements, including a variety of stone sizes and shapes.

The total length of the lit façades is in excess of 500m, making it the largest installation of its kind in the UK. The lighting scheme utilizes dynamic-white LED luminaires, offering a range from 2700K to 6000K. This enabled the hue of white light to be tuned to suit each building material.

The complexity of the predominantly early 19th century façades commanded the use of specially finished custom-made luminaires that were unobtrusive in daylight conditions. As no standard luminaires were discreet enough, the lighting designer worked closely with a manufacturer to adapt standard products to achieve maximum lit impact with minimum spill light. A total of 1,500 luminaires were used, with the entire block’s façade being controlled from a single location via DMX protocol utilizing over 3,000 control channels. This completely “digital” lighting solution offers a subtly different façade appearance in summer and winter months.

“Invisibly integrated light sources and a refreshing sensitivity to varying architectural materials makes this one of the most successful executions of the illumination of historical facades,” another judge said.

“Instead of just flooding the facades with generic illumination, the designers carefully highlighted specific architectural details, creating depth and definition. THIS is how it is done!”

The IALD Lighting Design Awards program, established in 1983, honors lighting projects that display high aesthetic achievement backed by technical expertise. Additionally, projects can also be submitted for consideration in the sustainable design award category, which means the project undergoes an additional round of judging keyed solely to the fulfillment of sustainable design principles. A panel of award-winning lighting designers, architects and interior designers review the projects.