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Circus Street Development, UK

Michael Grubb Studio provided a Public Realm Lighting Strategy for Brighton & Hove’s much heralded Circus Street Development. The project will see a disused area of the city centre transformed into a vibrant new social, cultural and economic quarter.

We were instructed by The Cathedral Group and have been collaborating with award-winning architects ShedKM and landscape architects J & L Gibbons, as well as Brighton & Hove City Council.

The multi-million pound regeneration project, which hopes to bring in around £200m of investment and create numerous jobs, is seen as a symbol of the city’s diverse cultural heritage.

Included within the Circus Street plans are a landmark Dance Space that will see world class artists connect with the area, a library, teaching building for the university, halls of residence, sustainable new homes, modern office space of over 3,000sqm, restaurants, cafes and green spaces including a new public square for a range of leisure activities.

One of the key aims for the design team was to create a meaningful environment that becomes a healthy, vibrant, sustainable community model of city life. The Lighting Strategy looked to reinforce these core principles by supporting the needs of people, whether local residents, students or business owners operating after dark.

An example of this can be seen with the three main gateways into the development. Each of which has its own catenary system with a “super-sized” pendant, shaped either as a pyramid, cube or sphere. These forms and their materiality are directly informed by adjacent buildings and will greatly assist when navigating the site whether by day or night.

Exterior lighting within the site has been carefully configured and includes a balance of both horizontal and vertical illumination. The central core and main square contain layers of architectural lighting, with each complimenting the other. This includes lighting of both soft and hard landscaping features, as well as surrounding building facades.

The residential properties are configured to be more tranquil and welcoming, with particular emphasis being on creating a safe and secure environment.

Michael Grubb Studio has since developed detailed lighting designs for the entire site with works starting in 2017 and due for completion in 2020.


Cathedral (Brighton) Group & Hove City Council


Brighton, UK


Strategy & Masterplanning

Scope of Works

Strategy & Masterplanning

Project Budget

£130 Million

Design Team

Uandiplc, ShedKM, J&L Gibbons & Michael Grubb Studio