The University of Creative Arts (UCA), Farnham

Project: The University of Creative Arts (UCA), Farnham

In partnership with McCarthy Bainbridge design consultancy, Spectral Lighting, part of the RIDI Group, has designed, supplied and commissioned bespoke LED ceiling coffer luminaires and a supporting controls package to transform a corridor-cum-gallery space at The University of Creative Arts (UCA) Farnham. The corridor, which plays host to a steady rotation of students’ work, previously had a dark wood ceiling and just a handful of spotlights. It was dingy, drab and did little to positively showcase the artworks that were on display.

The UCA Farnham has a long and rich history as a hub of creativity and to reflect the considerable output of its alumni, the site has begun a refurbishment programme to provide a suitable backdrop for their art. The corridors that required a new lighting scheme have been remodelled with clean, white-plastered walls and a new coffer ceiling which creates a continuous, flowing perspective and gallery feel.

“The original corridor was a poorly lit and gloomy space which displayed some art work but was primarily used as a transit route to teaching spaces. The floor to ceiling height was very limited - resulting in a void of less than 110mm being available – meaning we had to choose our lighting solution carefully,” says Tony Bainbridge, Director at McCarthy Bainbridge Ltd. 

It was decided that a drop ceiling construction would be offered with additional fully directional recessed spotlights mounted into the drop side sections, allowing maximum flexibility to illuminate art work and allow simplified wiring routes for new and existing services.

With the new ceiling in place, Spectral was tasked with fitting recessed coffer luminaires to the area. This required a solution that could be installed custom sized for easy on-site assembly and discretely embedded into the visible vertical facia.

Spectral was founded on the principal of tailor-made specials and immediately turned to its U-PROFIL aluminium extrusion. This offers the continuous light channels required for the coffer ceiling and can be made-to-measure. The irregular coffers and shapes would have been a challenge if standard lengths were to be used. However, exact lengths were manufactured and delivered to site, fully assembled and ready to install.

The U-shaped channels are supplied in one-piece sections up to lengths of 5000mm. The housing itself is the carrier for the control gear and light output can be obtained using a flexible LED linear line system. At the Farnham installation, a simple opal diffuser has been used to provide the desired continuous light-effect, complementing the perspective of the space and providing a soft diffused light.