London Borough of Lambeth appointed Michael Grubb Studio to develop a lighting concept that would unify various buildings along Streatham High Road – the longest High Road in the United Kingdom. The project was funded by the Mayors Outer London Fund.
Michael Grubb Studio developed this open brief into a single concept where each building is visually connected with dynamic lighting through a ‘Streatham-wide’ lighting control system. This was achieved by introducing Wi-Fi operated lighting for each building. Controlled remotely by a central system, it was then linked to a calendar of key dates and events, all of which were agreed in conjunction with local community groups. The buildings on the high road now celebrate key days in religious, social or community calendars with colourful and dynamic light scenes and sequences for each designated day. This includes birthdays of local residents past and present, days of remembrance as well as making the local community aware of a full moon. There are over 100 dates and events programmed with new special events being added as needed.
The control boxes and associated enclosures were developed in conjunction with the lighting manufacturer and are the first step towards an ‘internet of things’ on the high street, where all the lighting is connected. The hope is that surrounding buildings, businesses and community groups will join the initiative in the future.
The buildings included in this phase of the project include the newly renovated Tate Library, The White Lion, Pratts and Payne, The Locarno (now the Bingo Hall) and a series of residential domes. It is possible to view some of the facades collectively, something that enhances the visual connection and provides a dynamic skyline after dark.
Each building was approached uniquely in design, and bespoke details were made to make the lighting both effective and discreet from the view of the high road. Furthermore, colour-change LED lighting was used throughout in order to link the buildings together visually and the custom control boxes were made self-enclosed & simple to use, allowing for everyone to be part of the scheme.
“The Michael Grubb Studio team worked incredibly hard to deliver a workable concept that could be approved by all stakeholders and then designed and implemented within 9 months – but they pulled it off.
I’ve really enjoyed working with the MGS team and absolutely loved the challenge of place making with the use of light. They are incredibly enthusiastic and are not afraid to take design risks or push the boundaries with new lighting technologies.
The system they proposed and designed is limitless and scalable to the rest of the high road. New developers will be encouraged to join the scheme through the project custodian – InStreatham BID so that Streatham can be recognised as a connected community – all through the application of light.
I never would have thought that lighting would have such a massive effect on the high street – the project sites really ‘pop’ and the feedback has been resoundingly positive”.
Steve Wong, Project Manager for London Borough of Lambeth