The ‘nuts and bolts’ look of a high-tech age emerged in the 1970s. Epitomised by the Pompidou Centre in Paris and later the Lloyds Building in London both by Richard Rogers, they broke the mould with their rebellious exposed construction. A technological look that had pipes and conduits visible to all both external and internally within the building. It was a product of the first wave of technology – Moon shots and IBM mainframes were in the collective psyche. Could it be that with the recent trend in industrial style bars and retail stores – we might be experiencing a return of functional architecture?
To my mind there seems to be two types of lighting scheme currently. The swish seamless and clean lines of light where hidden sources give the light itself all the glory. Here we are into subtle washes of light and hidden LED fittings within the fabric of the interior. Contrast this with the hard industrial look which is in current vogue. Visible services, conduits and ducting laid bare and looping pendants finished off with hard industrial maritime bulk heads and squirrel cages.
Often these industrial interiors work out of necessity. Many walls and ceilings are unyielding to concealed wiring – so why not make a feature of the pipes and cables and bypass the complications – just fix a light in the correct position AND get power to it – simple!
It’s a gift for exposing the ugly layers of the building too. Remove aging suspended ceiling grids and you find a network of ventilation ducts and lighting wiring above. Perfect structures to pronounce an industrial theme.
Lighting Applications – exposed services:
Galvanised Conduit with besa boxes to mount the light fitting or rose. A necessity for interiors with stone or exposed brickwork that do not allow for chased cabling. Basements, vaulted spaces and ex-industrial spaces allow you to celebrate a functional aesthetic. The besa box is the round box that punctuates the conduit to allow access to the power within – an excellent place to mount fittings.
Galvanised cable trays are a necessary feature of most commercial spaces to carry power through the interior to feed sensors, alarms, power to equipment and of course lighting. Where a space is high and with the dropped ceiling removed, the tray itself is our opportunity to mount our lighting. Downlights can be recessed into cable tray – pendants dropped below – it’s like a snaking track ready to be used.
The trend for industrial is so popular you don’t need the challenge of an industrial space to create the theme. A system of lighting that’s caught our eye for a recent project is this (see picture right). This fixture can grow vertically and horizontally as much as you wish with your own choices of ceiling or wall lights, a formalised system crystalizing the current trend to reveal what is so often hidden.
So if you are contemplating an industrial look for a forthcoming interior project – we are here to guide you through the range of available light fixtures and to help you with the design of the scheme.