Holophane Luminaires Provide Stunning Façade for Listed Building

Refurbishment of the former Tipton Library in Tipton, West Midlands, has included Hydrel luminaires from Holophane Europe, for uplighting and floodlighting of the building’s exterior and its surrounds. The former library is a landmark building, which has listed building status under English Heritage. The refurbishment, costing in excess of £750K, also involved a complete restoration of the building’s interior and now houses Sandwell Council’s Occupational Health Unit.

Working closely with Ian Round & Adrian Lisseman of Sandwell Council’s Urban Design & Building Services, Holophane sales engineer Roger Huxley initially made a site visit to determine what lighting effects could be achieved and suitable locations for luminaires to achieve the desired effects. Roger decided that the two colours of material used in the façade of the building lent themselves to different lamp types, namely high pressure sodium (SON) and metal halide. High pressure sodium is good for warm coloured brickwork, whilst metal halide is a white light source and very effective with lighter coloured materials. Holophane then produced a computer rendering to provide the client with a clear image of how the building would look.

The building has a tower with buff coloured terracotta, external support columns with ornate decoration at the top and the original terracotta Tipton Library sign above the entrance. Holophane supplied Hydrel 7000 floodlights using 70W SON lamps for installation around the building to provide an overall ‘wash’ and emphasise the red brickwork. Hydrel M9000 series buried uplighters, with 150W metal halide lamps from Venture Lighting, were positioned close to each of the columns, to highlight the terracotta. Hydrel 7000 floodlights were also employed to uplight the inside surfaces of the eight alcoves and to illuminate the tower, where one incorporating Venture’s 100W metal halide lamps was used at each corner to create a ‘beacon’ effect that would stand out from a distance. The floodlight for the main entrance is mounted on a column and directed at the original sign and utilises barn doors to cut off the light at the edges and give the illusion of internally lit stonework.

Light pollution had to be given careful consideration as most of the luminaires on the project are aimed upwards. Holophane have provided the solution by tilting the alcove luminaires slightly inwards so that most of the light is cut off by the top, internal edge of the alcove and by aiming the buried uplighters in towards the columns. The Hydrel M9000 buried uplighters have also been supplied with internal honeycomb louvres to prevent light spill and avoid glare to pedestrians close by.

Holophane’s Denver post-top mounted fittings were also used on the project for the illumination of a small car park to the rear of the building.

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