Thorn Lighting has created a solution for the redesign of the City, University of London that has resulted in a stylish installation, with maximum performance, low maintenance and high energy savings. Working closely with Halsion Building Services Engineers, the lighting scheme – which originally consisting of old linear fittings and downlights – has been transformed into an eye-catching, contemporary installation that works in unison with the new, refreshed facility.

City, University of London is a public research university based in the heart of London and contributes significantly to the Capital’s academic, cultural and business life. The aim of the project was to create a new main entrance complex, improve circulation and expand student facilities at the Northampton Square main campus. Secondly, to establish a world class education facility on the Sebastian Street site, designed to support academic study and research. Architects NBBJ worked closely with the University to transform the estate by adapting the structure rather than adding to it in a manner that is true to its original concept. The scheme incorporates the main University building, the hub building and a new pavilion that integrates sensitively into the Northampton Square and Hat and Feathers’ Conservation Area.

Thorn’s Equaline Linear LED luminaires have been incorporated in the main areas of the building to provide excellent light output, >80lm/W efficacy and very good glare control. Equaline is part of a complete family of luminaires with surface mounted direct illumination and suspended for direct/indirect, plus freestanding and wall mounted versions, allowing flexible and energy efficient lighting schemes with a coordinated aesthetic. Recessed, surface mounted and suspended were all used for this project.

City, University of London is committed to embedding sustainability within all of its activities so for circulation areas, Thorn’s Chalice was an obvious choice as a direct LED replacement for the conventional fluorescent downlights, reducing energy usage by up to 60 percent. Chalice is available fixed (13/26/38W) or with a replaceable LED module (TWIST version), both with a choice of colour temperatures (3000 or 4000K). The TWIST version allows replacement with future module generations to maximise lifetime energy savings. A lifetime of up to 50,000 hours (@L70, Ta 25 degrees C) significantly reduces maintenance demands and costs.

A one for one replacement for single and twin T8/T5 fluorescent battens, Thorn’s PopPack LED has also been used in circulation areas.  With a total load of only 28W, 41W and 60W, PopPack can achieve energy savings of up to 67% when compared to traditional switch start. Novaline, a slim circular luminaire for wall or ceiling mounting, which blends with most architectural styles, was chosen for stairwells. The Ultra slim Voyager LED exit sign has been installed throughout for its suitability for small area use and viewing distances up to 23 metres. Easy to install, Voyager has a three hour duration of maintained or non-maintained operation and interchangeable legends.

With its minimalist design, Thorn’s Olsys has been used for the illumination of the exterior of the facility, offering a wide range of configurations to suit the task and the environment. Olsys delivers an exceptionally low cost of ownership with an optimised heat management system that provides a lifetime of up to 80,000 hours.  Designed in accordance with the new contact temperature norm of <40C, Mica drive-over luminaires have also been used for the exterior. Sealed to IP67 Mica provides maximum waterproofing and speed of installation. 

The main entrance and new freed-up ground floor showcases a refreshed reception, social spaces, lounges and a café, creating an entrance that is active and welcoming. The stepped frameless glazing on Northampton Square puts the original concrete columns on display, while a retractable glass wall to the ground floor café area enables the main entrance to open to the outside, activating the space during the summer months.

The design ‘celebrates’ again the dramatic concrete structure of the original 1960s University Hall, now seemingly floating above the newly created arrival space. Converted into a Harvard style lecture theatre it offers carefully calibrated acoustics and glare-free natural light.

Ingo Braun, Design Director at NBBJ said: ‘‘By upgrading this iconic brutalist building and removing some of the accretions of past decades we’ve given it a new lease of life and secured its future within City, University of London’s main campus, opening it up to a growing and changing audience. The new entrance and route through the building has transformed the building and underlines City, University of London’s position as a leading, global institution.”



Tel: 01388 420042