|The recent launch of Hotel Verta, situated on the River Thames at Battersea, South London marks the end of 3 years of architectural lighting design input for consultants Light Bureau..|
Hotel Verta, part of the Metropolitan Set from von Essen hotels, is the only hotel in Europe adjoined to a heliport and offers a unique hotel experience to leisure and business guests coming to London. The design of the hotel has elevated it to South London’s best hotel.
The project found inspiration in the golden days of aviation, combining location with luxury and style and classic design with contemporary features. Light Bureau was commissioned by von Essen hotels to deliver a comprehensive lighting solution for the exterior and interior spaces, subtly integrated into the building, ensuring the visual emphasis remains focused on the high-quality finishes and artefacts.
The lighting throughout the hotel is deliberately designed to enhance the guest experience whilst remaining subordinate to the interior design. Something that has been achieved with much aplomb as Associate Designer Karolina Zielinska explains “A chief design principle for the project is amalgamation of the light itself, which we consider is more important than the appearance of the luminaires, and so wherever possible they are integrated within the furniture details and architectural elements”.
All of this is achieved without compromising the strict corporate social responsibility strategy employed by von Essen hotels for their first turnkey new build project; the lighting has a minimal carbon footprint, exceeding current UK energy legislation (Part L).
The combination of daylight design and sensing, energy efficient artificial lighting and lighting controls proved fundamental in achieving sustainable design within the building. As an added benefit, savings in lighting consumption directly reduces electrical load and room temperature gains, therefore having a favorable effect on summertime cooling loads and temperatures. Operationally, the system also provides the management team feedback with regards energy consumption as well as maintenance reports.
Ease of maintenance is deliberately designed into the lighting scheme and Light Bureau were at pains to minimise the to quantity of lamp sources used across the hotel. Designer Zielinska explains “Incandescent sources are used with utmost care and minimised to as few locations as possible. Elsewhere we have used cold cathode, fluorescent and LED sources, all of which are long-life and low-energy, meaning long maintenance intervals”
Hotel Guest bedrooms & Corridors
There are 70 guestrooms including 6 suites within the hotel located on floors 2 to 5. To visually reduce the length and the feeling of confined space within the guestroom corridors, the interior design utilizes a variation in wall finishes. One side of the corridor is dark and one side is light. This is reinforced by wall mounted luminaires located next to entry doors. The downward light distribution highlights the room number and VDA card reader, creating a rhythm of light through the circulation space.
Hotel guestrooms are furnished with original artwork and bespoke furniture. The design and quality of materials of the individual rooms is enhanced by sensitive illumination. Downlighting, cove lighting, ambient lighting from floor and table luminaires, lighting integrated within wardrobes, bathroom mirrors, wall lights, and so on, add multiple layers to the space, where the dark / light concept of finishes was also applied.
Each room is equipped with a custom designed control panel which can be used to call up different lighting scenes; this means that the guest can define what kind of lighting is required depending on mood, time of day or visual amenity.
Bar Verta and lounge on the mezzanine level is a glamorous, contemporary bar. The gold and black marble and striking lighting create a destination bar on the south bank of the Thames that is perfect for socializing.
Located below ground, Spa Verta is a place where hotel guests can temporarily escape from the hectic world above. With no daylight penetration artificial lighting plays a key role in creating a convivial ambience, setting the tone for the guest experience.
The main issue facing Light Bureau was how to handle the transition between the open, spacious upper levels of the Hotel and the small, enclosed basement with lower ceilings and a lack of daylight penetration, to ensure that this space doesn’t appear cramped. The lighting achieves this by creating a hierarchy of illuminance levels. This graduates the lighting intensity as a guest moves through the spa. The lighting is also dynamic, responding to the time of day and natural light levels.
The hydrotherapy pool on Level 2 virtually glows with light; this is achieved through the stainless steel surface of the pool reflecting light from carefully positioned underwater spotlights. In spite of the limited choice of luminaires due to IP rating protection requirements in this wet/damp location, and the regular long hours of daily operation of the lighting system, an original lighting solution was created.
Client & Photographic credits: von Essen hotels
Designers credited on the project Light Bureau: Karolina M. Zielinska, Daniel Blaker, Duncan Hamilton