Feature, Office

Sustainable lights for Grade II City building

John Robertson Architects worked with Zumtobel to improve the lighting in the refurbishment of Bracken House.

A COMPLICATED brief to supply luminaires in keeping with the interior of of Grade II* listed City of London building has been achieved.

The selection of low-energy high CRI luminaires was important in meeting the design criteria for the renovation and contributing to the building’s sustainability credentials.

The selection of low-energy high CRI luminaires was important in meeting the design criteria set out by John Robertson Architects (JRA) for the renovation and contributing to the sustainability credentials of Bracken House.

The building is a contemporary workplace with an enhanced street presence, business lounge, state-of-the-art office floors, and a spacious roof terrace.

The previous architectural interventions have been unified, and by working with heritage consultants, the team was able to provide thoughtful additions which built upon earlier works, creating internal courtyards linking the main building and wings, and increasing natural daylight throughout the atrium.

The offices have been modernised to create 200,000 sq. ft. of Grade-A office accommodation with the latest LED lighting.

A custom office lighting system was developed with the lighting specialist Zumtobel, using the Slotlight Infinity, seamless linear LED fittings, together with modular suspended metal ceilings arranged in a grid that aligns with the building’s exposed structure.

With its linear design and high precision illumination, Slotlight Infinity provides a continuous vein of light with no shadows that complements the unique design of the spaces. The lighting arrangement accentuates the structural arrangement of the central office floorplates seen from street level.

In the historic wings, Caela, a modern version of the original bespoke circular light fittings, illuminates all office floors to maintain the original aesthetic in these areas.

Pendant, surface mounted and recessed Caela LED luminaires provide decorative highlights and adjust perfectly to the ambience of a particular space, adding an elegant touch to the new offices.

The ceiling levels have been raised to improve the floor to ceiling heights.

Panos Infinity luminaires blend into the architecture, providing a light approaching natural daylight, with pleasant colour temperatures and the option to adjust to an individual’s preference.

With up to 135 lm/W and a high colour rendering of over 90, the downlights are twice as efficient as conventional downlights and have the potential for energy savings of up to 70 per cent with additional savings through lower maintenance costs.

Zemien Lee, project director at John Robertson Architects, told Lux: ‘The success of the project lies in sustaining a 20th century icon, bringing it up to the quality standards of the best contemporary buildings, by carefully balancing conservation and progress to keep the original spirit of the design alive.

‘The collaboration between JRA and Zumtobel on the office lighting has been an essential part of bringing new life to Bracken House, and creating a headquarters for the future’.


  • See the latest LED lighting at the LuxLive 2019 exhibition takes place on Wednesday 13 November and Thursday 14 November 2018 at ExCeL London. Entry is free if you pre-register here.