A new lighting scheme for the medieval dining hall at Trinity Hall has won ‘Heritage Lighting Project of the Year’ at the 2015 Lighting Design Awards.
Founded in 1350, Trinity Hall is one of the oldest and most beautiful of the Cambridge Colleges. The dining hall dates back to the 14th century and is structured in traditional medieval hall style. The dining hall forms an integral part of College life and is used every day during term-time by the students as well as for formal dinners and drinks receptions, external conferences, weddings and special events. The main brief for the project was to restore the Hall, remaining faithful to the original architecture and finishes, while creating a contemporary lighting layout, suitable for various functions.
Dominic Meyrick, Partner at Hoare Lea Lighting, comments: “The opportunity to work within such a beautiful space as Trinity Hall was a privilege in itself and we are delighted with the result, particularly the way the lighting has been so successfully integrated in this historic building. Winning the Heritage Award at the Lighting Design Awards really is the icing on the cake.”
The awards recognise and reward innovation and creativity in lighting, judged by some of the most authoritative individuals in the industry. The judges praised the scheme, commenting in particular that the project is a ‘work of great precision and skilled execution’ that ‘integrates perfectly into the space’ and ‘whose harmonious outcome belies the thought that has gone into its creation’.
Glen Sharp, Junior Bursar at Trinity Hall, said: ‘We are thrilled that the skill and expertise of the team at Hoare Lea Lighting has been acknowledged with this award. We knew how we wanted the dining hall space to appear, but articulating this vision was challenging. Hoare Lea Lighting’s 3D capability was very important – by modelling the space and showing us what it would look like, they provided vital reassurance to the team.”
Working on a listed building requires being mindful of the architectural heritage of the space, enhancing it at night and complementing it during daytime hours. A great deal of effort was put into understanding the architectural features, while also creating the desired visual impression and the ability to accommodate a number of functions.
The concept of a highly controlled ambient/task lighting backdrop allowed Hoare Lea Lighting to have a ‘dark canvas’ on which to highlight architectural elements individually, with the lowest levels of power consumption possible.
An arrangement of six LED track-mounted adjustable downlights positioned at a high level provides general illumination, giving flexibility and control, allowing the fittings to be focused only onto the tables or floor, without spilling light on walls or paintings.
All feature elements and artwork are independently illuminated. Paintings have a dedicated LED system, tailored to the dimensions of each artwork. The distribution and angle at which the light hits the canvas was carefully designed by Hoare Lea Lighting, alongside TM Lighting, and a high, full-colour spectrum 95+ CRI LED used to achieve the correct quality of light.
The columns, either side of the main portrait of Sir Nathanael Lloyd, Master of Trinity Hall from 1710-1735, are highlighted by mini-projectors. Other details, such as the window alcoves and balcony window reveals, are uplighted by a continuous linear fluorescent system, carefully embedded into the windowsills.
Hoare Lea Lighting’s CGI product, the LightSIM was used to create a virtual reproduction of the space, which included a control breakdown, to enable Trinity Hall to manipulate scenes remotely.
Meyrick summarises the project’s success, commenting: “The feedback from Trinity Hall has been extremely positive. The solution works on both a practical and aesthetic level, adding to this beautiful heritage space, while bringing it up-to-date in terms of its current use. We are delighted that, by winning the Heritage category at the Lighting Design Awards, the project’s success has been recognised by the wider design community.”