70 St. Mary Axe Lift Lighting
Rising high above the noise of the City of London, 70 St. Mary Axe sits proudly as the newest addition to the ever-growing collection of landmark buildings that make up the capital’s iconic skyline. This 24-storey, 41,515m² development comes from one of the UK’s most notable architectural practices – Foggo Associates – and promises to provide efficient, flexible office spaces to the businesses that are shaping the future of global commerce. Having such a distinctive, striking exterior, Foggo Associates felt certain that the interior of 70 St. Mary Axe needed to be just as impressive.
Being one of the building’s most frequently used features, both the design and functionality of the central elevator system were of crucial importance. The lift cars and surrounding lobby areas needed to match the sleek, luxurious ambience of the building’s entrance whilst working to support the architect’s commitment to meeting environmental and fire safety responsibilities.
However, neither Foggo Associates nor their main contractors felt that any of the Europe-based suppliers they had investigated had the technical abilities, facilities, or expertise required to achieve their brief. Upon bringing their search closer to home, Unibox stood out as being the only provider capable of creating a solution that would deliver on all fronts.
Lift Car Lightboxes
Due to the non-negotiable dimensional limitations of the building’s lift system, any ceiling lighting developed for the lift cars themselves needed to be shallow in depth. Working within these parameters, we advised that the most effective result could be achieved by using a series of our Ledge46 lightboxes – 10 identical elements, each measuring 46mm x 1700mm x 1800mm.
To deliver the light levels specified in our client’s brief from within a unit depth of just 46mm, our Product Developers modified the technology that powers our standard Ledge46 lightboxes so that they would operate using ultra-thin LED tape. This tape uses 4000K 90CRI LEDs so that the light levels inside the lift cars would match that of the lighting elements already chosen for the building’s reception area and lift lobbies.
Additionally, to help Foggo Associates comply with commercial safety regulations, we devised a method of including integrated emergency lighting into all of these lightboxes without impacting upon the overall aesthetic of the lift car interiors.
Feature Lift Lighting
After meeting with Foggo Associates to discuss their vision for a feature lighting system that would frame the doorways to each lift car, we realised that no off-the-shelf product would meet all of their requirements. To overcome this obstacle, we worked in close partnership with the building’s architects to develop a custom solution that would satisfy all of the aesthetic and functional elements detailed in their brief. This solution comprised of a series of 40mm deep lightboxes, all of which were to operate using 4000K 90CRI LEDs.
Again, knowing our client’s environmental and legal commitments, we recommended that they specify Makralon DXNR as the material used for the diffusers in these lightboxes. As well as offering incredible light transmission percentages, this type of high-performance polycarbonate boasts one of the best fire safety ratings available. This meant that our client felt able to approve our designs, confident in the knowledge that the lightboxes would comfortably meet B-S1-D0 standards.