Willis Towers Watson

Clearvision have completed a full lighting fit-out project at the UK’s youngest Grade One listed building. Over 6,000 luminaries and accessories were supplied covering office space, back of house areas, meeting rooms, corridors, toilets, canteen/hospitality and atrium at the Willis Towers Watson building in Ipswich.

The project involved coordinated working between English Heritage and Clearvision to recreate the original lighting concept by Sir Norman Foster using modern lighting technologies/techniques. The Client wanted to return areas of the buildings lighting to the original aesthetic and replace the office luminaires to efficient, easier to maintain luminaires.

The brief was simple but it’s implementation difficult. There were polished aluminium slatted ceilings supported by lighting troughs containing T8 fittings with polished chrome louvres. The challenge was to create luminaires to improve lighting levels in line with modern guidance’s, reduce energy costs, carbon emissions and maintenance whilst meeting the aesthetic requirements.

In the canteen/hospitality areas and atrium, Clearvision re-created an old PAR 56 track luminaire used to highlight the brightly coloured walls of the building, give general lighting and provide colour change functionality for corporate events with a user-friendly controls interface.

Clearvision spent two years completing site surveys, multiple designs and luminaire testing, many lighting designs and on-site mock-up’s. Often redrawing old plans that were not representative of what was found in the building and making alterations to lighting distribution. Many cycles of testing/retesting took place to tweak luminaire performance.

Mechanical issues discovered meant the design of the luminaire was more difficult. A key issue being the weight of the fitting, requiring a completely bespoke fixing mechanism to suit existing fixing points; an air handling requirement discovered 6 months into our site surveys, exacerbated by the requirement of a diffuser in front of the light source to aid our louvres in glare reduction.

The projector track mounted luminaire required a diffuser and reflector system to control light in a similar way to a PAR lamp and a domed front. This led us to develop a new manufacturing process for the lens element. The lumen package needed to be very high with the light source relatively small to work optically and thermally, made worse when employing the RGBW element in some fittings.

The result was a building that met the aesthetic requirements of English Heritage, a reduced lighting load for the customer by over 50%, enhanced light quality, human experience/functionality and reduced maintenance requirements.

We’d like to give a special mention to Ceetech for their involvement and electrical installation works on the project.