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Princesshay Exeter Lighting Regeneration


Location Client Completion Awards
Exeter, UK Land Securities 2008 1

Project details

The historically significant Catherine Street Almshouses and their surroundings in the Princesshay area of Exeter have been transformed thanks to a collaboration by BDP Lighting and artist Patricia MacKinnon-Day.

With a budget of only £20,000 the design team created a strong yet subtle and non-invasive result without recourse to street or floodlighting. Approved by English Heritage, the solution was achieved through integrated artwork, peripheral building illumination and selective up-lighting to heritage walls and incorporated a high level of vandalism protection.

The main artistic focus entitled 'Marking Time' lies with glass doors, copies of medieval doors, sited on original door positions to define the missing architecture space. Glowing at night they provide ambient light, frame significant views and aid navigation. Archaeological objects found on the site are encapsulated within the doors and up-lit by LEDs hidden within the doors' foundations; they appear to float magically in mid air

There are also inscriptions within Chapel Hearths and set into the ground with extracts from historical records, lit at the edges by paving grazers and illuminated by reflected light from low level walls.  A fibre optic field in bonded gravel evokes "Votive Candles" in a chapel, flickering gently, and selective wall up-lighting aids navigation and orientation and provides indirect illumination.


  • Awards: IALD Award of Merit 2006; (Special Projects Category: Winner

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