Bath arts building gets a makeover

Hoare Lea designs new lighting solution for The Edge at University of Bath

The Edge is a new arts and management building located on the University of Bath’s campus at Claverton Down. It is the base for the Institute of Contemporary Interdisciplinary Arts (ICIA) and home to the Executive Education Suite from the School of Management, which offers an innovative programme of courses for the University’s business partners.

Designed by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, the simple, geometric form of the four-storey, aluminium clad building gives The Edge a distinctive presence on campus. Hoare Lea Lighting was commissioned by The University of Bath to design the lighting solution for all areas, including teaching facilities, the theatre, gallery space and performance studios.

On the ground floor, a new entrance foyer connects to the 220-seat theatre. This multi-purpose area opens up to the galleries and incorporates the box office and café, creating an events space able to accommodate more than 200 people.

The Foyer features a full-height atrium. Here, an array of sphere-shaped pendants, suspended at various heights, creates a decorative effect. Within the café area, a linear system with integrated spotlights complements the clean palette. The Foyer is designed to bring together diverse art forms and foster interaction between disciplines – coordination with the acoustic treatments was therefore crucial and the Quad provides a simple, effective solution.

Pendants in the Foyer

Contemporary visual arts galleries, comprising three white cube spaces, are located next to the foyer. Within Gallery One – a spectacular double-height space – fully adjustable spotlight versions of Erco’s Light Board, are located on a flexible arrangement of track, which allows the space to be reconfigured for different exhibitions. These luminaires give excellent colour rendering, washing the walls with light, while ensuring the artworks are seen as intended.

Also situated on the ground floor, the Weston Studio is made up of small rehearsal spaces. These areas required functional lighting and a linear product from Fagerhult, the Notor G2, provides an efficient, unobtrusive solution.

In the development areas on the first floor, the focus is on task-based lighting. Pendants located over tables provide localised light, while a linear system gives general illumination. The Fine Art Studio has a suspended trunking system, which creates a flexible and comfortable solution, while on level two the Dance Studio, with its high sloping ceiling, features cylindrical, eight-metre long fittings, which follow the line of the ceiling, providing an even light to the studio.

The Gallery

Throughout the building, circulation spaces are illuminated with wall-mounted Fagerhult Telescope Aqua luminaires in a twin arrangement. These provide functional lighting and add interest by creating vertical lit elements.

John Struthers, Director of ICIA, comments: “The Edge gives us an opportunity to increase what we can offer our students, as well as providing an arts venue for the local and regional community. Central to this aspiration is the lighting – Hoare Lea Lighting has created a flexible solution, essential to the multi-purpose nature of the building, which is also comfortable and sophisticated, allowing us to attract a wide range of visitors and events.”

Lighting Design: Hoare Lea Lighting    

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