Royal Holl

Royal Holloway University Boiler House.

Royal Holloway University Boiler House.

The tall chimneys of the Boiler House have become a visible landmark for the site.

Through seemingly simple lighting interventions the elevations surrounding the courtyard has been turned into a well-illuminated backdrop that defines the exterior space.

Client : Royal Holloway University

Architect : Cartwright Pickard

MEP : Hilson Moran

Photographer : Paul Traynor

Completion year : 2016

Opened at the end of 2016, the new Boiler House pavilion and external event space provides a great amenity to the Grade I listed Royal Holloway University curtilage at the Egham site. The new pavilion is lightweight and open, creating a valuable social space for students and staff to meet and study.

The project included the existing courtyard and surrounding façades, including the boiler house and twin chimney structures, the new café pavilion and connected interior spaces.

The interior lighting was purposefully designed to describe the verticality of the interior space, give a warm glow through the windows and to balance in intensity against the light emitted from the wall lights mounted to the external elevations.

The tall chimneys of the Boiler House were worthy of becoming a more visible landmark for the site. Light Bureau carried out on-site light tests to determine ideal offsets, light intensities and light distribution. It was important to strike the right balance between creating a landmark and a backdrop within the courtyard that doesn’t overpower other elements within the space.

Working closely with architects Cartwright Pickard on the new café pavilion, Light Bureau sought to present the architecture as even more visually open, light and airy by use of light. A combination of focused in-ground uplights and column mounted spotlights illuminate the sloping roof structure softly and evenly. The luminance of the canopy is carefully balanced between the interior and exterior space. Well shielded spotlights concealed on top of the roof beams provide light to the café seating. A lighting control system varies the amount of lighting to the canopy and down towards the seating areas throughout the day and in the evening.


Paul Traynor

International business development and Country Manager, UK