Independent lighting designer Victoria Jerram was commissioned to provide a lighting scenario for a dramatic redevelopment of Eglon House that pays homage to the International Style; her completed scheme features 68 rubbed bronze spotlights from Precision Lighting that complement the Modernist architectural styling.
The redevelopment, located in London’s fashionable Primrose Hill district saw a former industrial site transformed from a legacy of a WWII shell manufactory site, an Express Dairies facility for float servicing, and most recently a recording studio.
The redeveloped Eglon House carries echoes of this commercial usage, with the building demonstrating a dual-function design in which separate areas correspond to the characteristic live/work phenomenon of the modern paradigm, the redevelopment perfectly pays homage to Pierre Charaeua’s Maison de Verre which so clearly inspired this transformation.
Divided into two distinct buildings, both hidden from view on all sides and accessible only via an unassuming archway, the structures address both commercial and domestic use, and are linked together at basement level. On the commercial side, a full professional quality kitchen can be found alongside a double-height gallery space, while the more residential focused building features a kitchen-cum-breakfast room.
This balance between workspaces and living spaces had to be reflected in the lighting concept; as Jerram describes: “Balance of quality and quantity of light between the living and work areas. Additionally, there needed to be flexibility within the scheme, to support the flexible use of the space.”
The iconic glass-brick façade of the Maison de Verre is paid homage at Eglon House, providing vast quantities of natural daylight that serve to further open up the living spaces, and offer organic brightness that contrasts with the more industrial styling of the building, and the transparency played with the open, weightless quality of the structure’s construction. The effect is akin to a “glowing transparent box”, explains Jerram, while the exposed steel structures and visible services, ensures true to the Maison de Verre concept.
For Jerram’s scheme, luminaires need to perfectly harmonise with the almost industrial interiors, with a requirement for minimalism without unnecessary ornamentation. Bespoke spotlights based upon the styling of Precision’s Microspot C family met this brief, with their tasteful design corresponding to the orderly architecture. Machined from premium grade brass and finished to a rich, dark antique bronze colour, the spotlights are extremely versatile, classically styled luminaires.
The luminaires were mounted on Precision’s low voltage Basis Track system, chosen for the minimalist profile with clean lines; the linear flow of the tracks, and the use of rectangular formations of the track system alluded to the rectilinear forms of the International Style that Eglon House adopts.
As Jerram describes: “The aesthetics of the lighting system had to fit to an industrial chic décor with exposed shuttered concrete ceilings and visible structural elements; the Basis Track system for the luminaires contributes to this, forming a strong ceiling pattern that takes its lead from the exposed steel beams and the extensive glazing grid.”
In total, 68 fixtures and over 80 metres of Basis Track were required to complete the scheme. The Basis Track was finish matched to the rubbed bronze spotlight finish, this patination of both track and luminaire ensures a “hand-crafted artisanal feel”, explains Jerram.
The use of Precision’s unique Jack Plug connection for mounting luminaires to the track add consideration to the versatility and maintenance for the scheme; luminaires can easily be removed for cleaning or re-lamping using the click and twist mechanism, while the ease of repositioning luminaires on the rectilinear Basis Track formations allows the occupiers of the two buildings to position luminaires where required to suit the needs of each space.
The unique properties of the Basis Track system were particularly useful when it came to lighting the dynamic staircase area; as Basis Track can be factory curved to follow a specific profile, the track system was shaped to follow the softer arced lines of the staircase.
For the bedrooms of Eglon House, as well as the Basis Track mounted spotlights, Jerram also used surface monopoints to mount the delicate luminaires. The surface monopoint offers the advantage of providing a suitable mounting location for the spotlights without architectural intrusion.
Other luminaires specified for the project by Victoria Jerram included wall luminaires in the style of Pierre Chareau, manufactured by Galerie MCDE. The juxtaposition of these more decorative, homely fixtures with the more industrial stylings of the Basis Track and bespoke luminaires from Precision perfectly mirrored the thematic balance between work and life in both the architecture and the interiors of Eglon House.
Testimonial"The aesthetics of the lighting system had to fit to an industrial chic décor with exposed shuttered concrete ceilings and visible structural elements; the Basis Track system for the luminaires contributes to this, forming a strong ceiling pattern that takes its lead from the exposed steel beams and the extensive glazing grid."
Victoria Jerram, Lighting Designer