The Savoy is an icon of luxury accommodation in London. Lighting Design International were commissioned by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts to provide lighting designs for the complete restoration of the hotel.
The brief for the project was twofold – for the exterior of the building to provide a classical enhancement of the architecture and for the interior to provide a warm, luxurious and intimate feel within the main public areas.
LDI’s general philosophy for the project was to employ light fixtures that were either small, low glare and innocuous in appearance in order to play down the appearance of the light fixture itself and to play up their effect and ambience they generate.
The existing lighting was looking tired and was lacking in places. It was agreed that it would all be changed to give the hotel a new lease of life and to bring it into the 21st Century.
The main area where the lighting was lacking was in Savoy Court outside the main entrance which could hardly be seen from The Strand. Subsequently lighting was added to the pilasters adjacent to the entrance as a focal point, along with the lighting of a Lalique water feature. The existing back-lit acrylic lighting feature had to be retained and was completely renovated using warm white cold cathode tubing which enables it to be dimmed in the evening to create a more subdued ambience to the area and enable the features to stand out.
The façade lighting was changed from sodium and cool white metal halide to warm white CDM discharge. All lights are fitted with louvers to reduce glare and stray light. The flag poles and the statue of the count were also illuminated.
One aspect LDI influenced was the finish of the lay light ceiling in Savoy Court. This is irregular in its design and was white in colour making it quite unattractive and so in order that the eye is not drawn to it, the design team proposed that it was painted out black which puts greater emphasis on the façade and features within the space.
The light go the South Façade was also changed from sodium and cool white metal halide to warm white CDM metal halide. The lights have also been repositioned to highlight different architectural features and provide greater emphasis to the top of the building which is visible from the bridges over the Thames.
In order to fulfill the brief and create the desired intimate feel, warm white light sources were used throughout and lighting elements were layered to highlight features within the space. Energy efficient solutions were utilized where possible and where the effect was not compromised.
In general chandeliers and wall lights are heavily dimmed to provide a warm glow and low background general lighting, including the decorative pendants in the Entrance Hall. Table and standard lights are employed to provide a low scale task and general lighting. Low glare recessed downlights are employed to provide infill general light and accent lighting. Recessed uplights are used to highlight architectural features and cove lighting is employed to highlight ceilings and increase the apparent brightness of a space.
LED strip lights have been employed to provide concealed step lighting, backlighting of glass elements and shelf lighting. Two lines of concealed LED strip lighting, for instance, have been used for the back illumination of the Lalique bar front in the Beaufort Bar. As well as linear LED luminaires light the Art Deco wall panels at entresol level of the riverside stairs, providing an accent/wall wash effect from within the existing cove.
Client: Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
Project partners: Pierre Yves Rochon