This story was originally published in Architectural Lighting.

James Newton

During the construction of the new Bloomberg European headquarters in London, archeologists discovered more than 17,000 antiquities and the foundations of an ancient temple on the site dating to city’s Roman period when the city was known as Londinium. To preserve the unearthed ruins and artifacts in their original location, an interactive exhibition (at street level with two subterranean floors) was developed around the archeological findings.

Courtesy Tillotson Design Associates

LED spotlights and framing projectors sensitively illuminate the artifacts on the first and second levels of the exhibition, but it is on the third level where light truly, transports visitors back to Roman times. Here “walls” of structural light emerge from the ancient temple’s archeological foundations. First, the light is aimed horizontally onto a series of concealed mirrors, and then interrupted by baffles to simulate portals. Next, a “haze” was created using a mixture of glycol and water with a theatrical fog to transform the light beams and give them a physical dimensionality. It’s the first time such a technique has been used for a permanent installation. The overall lighting design coupled with the immersive media experiences creates a truly unique experience of mystery and discovery.

James Newton
James Newton
James Newton

Jury Comments:
The lighting creates a unique experience. • The technical complexity speaks to a completely new level of design integration.

Project: London Mithraeum, London
Client: Bloomberg LP, London
Exhibition Architect: Studio Joseph, New York
Lead Designer: Local Projects, New York
Lighting Designers: Tillotson Design Associates, New York and Schreiber Studio, New York (haze element)
Team Members: Suzan Tillotson, Mitul Parekh, Shan Jiang, and Matthew Schreiber
Architect of Record: Foster + Partners
Additional Consultants: Archelogy: Museum of London; Consulting Curator: Nancy Rosen Inc.; Stone Masonry: Paye Conservation; Contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd.
Photographer: James Newton
Project Size: 6,000 square feet
Project Costs: Confidential
Lighting Costs: Not Available
Watts per Square Foot: Unknown
Code Compliance: Not Applicable
Manufacturers: Erco, iGuzzini, LED Linear, Stratas Zumtobel, We-ef

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