Following the completion of the Viking Quarter Lighting Strategy in Waterdford we were excited to be asked to look at the detailed lighting design for the Bishops Palace, and iconic building on the Mall in Waterford. We felt that this façade was of such importance in the lighting in the area, as it was located at key juncture on the Mall, encompassing the Christchurch Cathedral, Theatre Royal, the new museum and City Hall. The view would also be reﬂected in the new City Council ofﬁces and adding further impact and the necessity to get it right, no pressure!
The lighting design consisted of two elements. The first was the lighting for the façade itself. Bishops Palace is a fine example of a Georgian façade design and the concept here was to highlight the form of the ornate details of the façade by lighting its stone features from an angle. Lighting from an angle is fantastic as it creates light and shadow, which in turn give a three dimensional quality to the façade. As opposed to lighting from a distance which only serves to flatten a façade.
To achieve this concept, linear xenon luminaires located on the window cills were used to achieve this, uplighting directly to highlight the underside of the window reveals, the window cills and the cornice at the top. The triangular pediment was also picked out in a similar fashion.
Xenon was used to compliment the warm natural limestone of which the building is constructed. The fitting itself the LLN uplighter by Agabekov was also ideal in that is was neat and unobtrusive on the window cill. It was also easy to install which was of utmost importance as it due to the Heritage nature façade (which was under conservation order) and the brief was to make minimal disturbance to the façade itself. To achieve this a detail was designed to ensure that installation was achieved without drilling the façade at any point.
The second element of the design was the landscape and functional lighting around the building. The gardens were designed by Dermot Gavin, well known for his gardening programmes on BBC and numerous awards at the Chelsea Flower show. We worked closely with Diarmuid to ensure our design co-ordinated with his vision for the garden and also didn’t take from the façade lighting. The objective was to highlight garden features, while ensuring the lighting faded into the background. All fittings used were recessed and hidden, placing the emphasis on the architecture and landscape features rather than the lights themselves. Lighting under benches and low level bollards also helped make the garden intuitive to use.
As well as designing we also supplied on this project, which was on a tight timescale due to the opening date of the new museum at the Palace which was a non-moveable completion date. BAM flagged use early on this and decided to utilise our installation support and snag team to ensure a seamless install. Our team led by john Gunner spent a number of late nights on site coming up to completion day, ensuring a smooth and accurate install.
The Bishops Palace museum was officially opened by the then Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar on June 23rd 2011.