unibox - grey - 2021
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The Scalpel Colour Changing Staircase

The Scalpel Colour Changing Staircase

Based in central London, Parkeray is one of the UK’s most respected commercial refurbishment contractors. In 2018, this reputation led a world-leading insurance provider to ask them to coordinate the interior fit-out of their new offices located in The Scalpel, London.

Architectural drawings showed a 20mm welded steel staircase that spanned the full height of a three-storey atrium located at the very centre of the space. In these designs, the underside of the staircase was to be illuminated by a series of irregular, geometric panels of light. These panels needed to be colour-changing in order to enable Parkeray’s client to host impressive branded events. In the architect’s own words, the installation would appear to be “continuous ribbon of light” flowing through the heart of their client’s new office.

When Parkeray began looking for a supplier with the skills, expertise and confidence needed to take on such a technically complex project, Unibox came widely recommended. Having already completed a range of complicated bespoke projects, we were able to offer Parkeray the unparalleled levels of knowledge and manufacturing experience they required.

Design and development

We worked in close collaboration with Parkeray and the project’s architects, KKS, to develop a solution that would exceed everyone’s expectations, functionally and aesthetically. Our Product Design Team and Electrical Engineers began by designing a system to match the client’s precise dimensional limits, set as such so that the illuminated sections of the staircase would sit perfectly flush with its steel frame.

Working to exacting specifications, we developed a solution using a series of our Ledge100 RGBW (white and colour-changing) lightboxes, all of which are compatible with a Simmtronic system and have integrated emergency lighting. Having a depth of 100mm, these lightboxes would integrate seamlessly into the main staircase structure and illuminate uniformly according to the client’s own colour preferences. Additionally, given that the panels were to have such irregular, angular shapes, we decided to custom-weld a number of the frames to ensure that the finished installation would have a millimetre-perfect fit.

Production and installation

During the research and development process, we constructed a complete set of mock-up lightbox frames to allow for pre-production checks. By carrying out such thorough testing, we made sure that, when the final manufacturing stage commenced, our client felt confident that the lightboxes and steel framework would fit together flawlessly.

We faced tight timescales right from the start of this project, all of which were needed to allow for site surveys and final adjustments to be carried out. Our production capacity and engineering experience meant that we were able to take such intimidating deadlines in our stride, though, successfully manufacturing, delivering and installing the lightboxes within a period of just 4 weeks.

Results and testimonials

Parkeray approached us whilst still in the early stages of developing their concept. This meant that they could take full advantage of our tenacious approach to problem-solving and unrivalled manufacturing abilities in order to highlight aspects of the proposed design which may end up proving problematic. Providing valuable insight, our teams of experts advised them on how to proactively modify the designs so as to prevent these complications from arising in the first place.

Ultimately, this enabled Parkeray to achieve what many thought would be impossible and bring their client’s initial concept into reality. Dubbed “the jewel in the crown”, the final installation is as visually striking as it is technically complex – a true testament to the skills and efforts of everyone involved.

“It has been my pleasure to work with Unibox on the recent Parkeray project at 52 Lime Street. The works involved the design, supply and installation of a ‘one-off’ lightbox on the underside of the 3 storey staircase. At first there was minimal information to go on apart from visuals but Nikki and her team produced all the production drawings as well as a replica for the client to see. The product and installation are exceptional and the client is overjoyed at the end result. I’m hoping to work with Unibox again in the very near future.” – Vince Bevan, Project Manager at Parkeray Limited.