Lighting Design at Heals of London

The Historic Staircase

The Heals Bocci Chandelier

The Heals Department Store in Tottenham Court Road, London was estblished in 1810 and then moved to this fine location in 1818. In the mid 19th century the building was one of the largest stores in London and created by the renound architect James Morant Lockyer. At the rear of the store there is a grand spiral staircase which winds its way up from the ground floor to the top of the building and allows customers to experience a touch of grandeur from the Victorian era. Hand Made Globe
Recently as part of the Heals renovation programme we were asked to install a large Bocci chandelier with 80 globes suspended from the top of the stairway and twisting down though the stairwell to the basement. The chandelier can be seen in all its glory swooping down through the curves of the spiral stairway in this photo. Bocci, who are probably the most famous chandelier manufacturer in Canada, hand make these lights from solid glass globes which are illuminated internally by a small G9 bulb. Because each ball is hand-made each of the eighty are slightly different and all have their own character. By contrast the image from below is eqaully impressive as can be seen in this image. Bocci Chandelier from Below The effect is simply magnificent and as you wind your way up the stairs you can cast your eyes across at the different levels of this grand illuminaire as you walk from one storey to the next. Bocci Chandelier from the stairs

The Instalation

The installation task for this chandelier was not simple as the light itself is very heavy and had to be suspended from three strong steel eyes at the top of the stairway. We used very strong 316 grade stainless welded chain to then support the top plate with load rated lifting eyes. From this plate all the 80 wires were suspended with the Bocci globes at the end providing the visual impact and background lighting for the stairway. In order to get the correct spacial separation between the globes then spacer bars were fitted as shown below, which were subsequently oriented to get a pleasing visual effect from the light. Bocci Chandelier Separation Bars The installation process was then conducted using a very tall scaffold tower which was then progressively lowered as we installed the light.

Complementary Architectural Lighting

In order to enhance the lighting effect on the stairway we then added a long length of LED strip around the periphery to light up the stair treads. The LED strip can be seen in this image. LED Strip The LED strip was recessed into a specially made wooden section to house the strip and wiring but also to hide it from view. In this way you can just see the warm white light being washed across the stairway but the obtrusive LEDs are hidden from view. The strip length is 65m and runs from the top to the bottom providing a strong visual key for the stairway. It is then the combination of the artistic chandeliers and spiral elegance of the lit stairway which are the key elements in the lighting design, which bring this architectural feature to life. If you are in London it is well worth a visit.

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