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Lush, Liverpool, UK

Lush Liverpool is the largest Lush store on the planet. Spread over three floors, the new Lush Liverpool boasts 1,380 sqm of retail space with an entire floor dedicated to Lush Spa, which offers a truly immersive and unique experience.

The retail brief was to emphasise and enhance the building’s original features to achieve a look inspired by the character of traditional departments stores, whilst being both sustainable and synonymous with the cosmetic brand.

At a time when revitalisation is needed more than ever, the new destination shop aims to bring more innovation and creative personal experiences than ever before to the high street. New services and experiences include, a Hair Lab offering treatments and cutting services, a Permanent Florist selling locally sourced and seasonal bouquets, handmade Fresh products made onsite, a Perfume Library selling exclusive Perfumes and books on Perfumery.

The lighting brief for the Spa was developed over a number of months with Lush R&D team, Spa Team and very closely with Lush Digital. Michael Grubb Studio had previously developed many lighting schemes for Lush Retail, Lush Spa and a range of R&D projects but this project required additional expertise to develop something unique.

A range of different musical scores were composed to align with different spa treatment. The brief was to craft a complimentary score for the lighting that worked in harmony with the music. This required a system to be designed and supplied capable of automatically triggering the lighting, running perfectly in time with the music.

Tonality, colour and luminance levels were really important beyond just red, green and blue. Light and sound enhance the spa treatments, combining uplifting moments with more subdued, relaxed moments. Research was undertaken to study how hypnagogia can be enduced within people during a spa treatment. Hypnagogia is the experience of the transitional state between wakefulness and sleep in humans, a brain wave activity, which if triggered during the day can lift someone’s mood and activity level up for the afternoon.

All of the lighting for Lush Spa was set behind frosted glass domes, giving the space an ambient and glowing sensation which matches the treatments and aesthetic.

An open tender process was undertaken, resulting in Arup being chosen due to their expertise. The scheme required IOT lighting control with 5:1 audio and Realtime control, in this instance, optimized for Philips hue, and using DMX. The file sizes required for 5.1 audio and the sound set up were exceptionally large. Control was all operated via Raspberry Pi which made the project feasible. An equivalent system currently would have cost around £3000-5000 but as an open source system everything could be downloaded and built for the project costing around a maximum of £150. The system was designed for multiple spa rooms which could be updated overnight spa locations internationally.

The system has many future possibilities and works with a variety of apps making light programming easy. It delivers a powerful framework which can be used to create a powerful system tailored to the project’s requirements.



Scope of Works

Brand Lighting

Design Team

Hyphen, Arup & Portview




Liverpool, UK