Arup Designs LED Lighting for King’s Cross Roof Structure
A.C. Special Projects Ltd. (ACSP) have supplied a quantity of customized Anolis ArcPad Xtreme LED fixtures and Pharos architectural control, to illuminate the roof structure of the magnificent new Western Concourse at London’s King’s Cross railway station. The spectacular lighting scheme was designed by Simon King of Arup, who is the Lead Mechanical, Electrical and Public Health Engineer for the King’s Cross station redevelopment project.
The essence of King’s lighting design was to bond functionality with an aesthetically pleasing effect, producing a “perfectly beautiful flow of light” across the elegant white geodesic curvature of the Western Concourse roof.
The stunning new roof structure has been cleverly blended with the station’s heritage to create a space for passengers that is three times larger than the 1970’s concourse, with improved transport links. More than 47 million passengers a year traveling through the Kings Cross interchange will benefit from a raft of improvements, including the new lighting provided by the roof’s illumination.
The lighting needed to both contrast and blend together the old and contemporary surrounding architectures, with the original parts of the Victorian Grade-I listed building dating back to 1852.
ACSP arranged several demonstrations and mock-ups – both at their facility in High Wycombe and onsite – involving different LED lighting solutions. ACSP’s access to a huge portfolio of leading architectural lighting brands allowed King to examine all the options in depth, so he could make a truly informed decision.
ACSP provided a mock-up of the luminaires which enabled Arup to see the actual output of the shortlisted fixtures, and also present the proposed visualization effect to the client and architect.
After much consideration, 24 Anolis ArcPad Xtreme fixtures were selected for their impressive brightness, flexibility and eco-friendly LED design.
In order to produce a very strong and specific blue signature wash, ACSP liaised directly with the manufacturer to fit an additional blue LED chip – making the fixtures RGBB. ACSP explains that this was implemented “seamlessly” and worked “perfectly for the bespoke lighting design.”
The ArcPad Xtreme fixtures are rigged on a series of special brackets below a high-level walkway above the Concourse’s mezzanine floor, with their throw distances varying from about 5 to 20 meters.
The lighting design also required DMX control to create full-color looks and the ability to change the lighting for special occasions. ACSP programmed and commissioned a Pharos LPC2 controller onsite, working to a list of events and occasions for which Network Rail required unique looks. The Pharos controller is linked to an overall building management system, which switches the fixtures on and off at pre-specified times and according to light levels on the Concourse.
Part of a 5-year program to restore and improve the station, the Western Concourse expansion delivers the biggest transformation in the 160-year history of the Grade-I listed station to date, marking the completion of yet another element of Network Rail’s plans for the future of rail travel in the UK.
The overall Kings Cross refurbishment project was overseen by Network Rail and delivered by masterplanners and chief architects John McAslan & Partners. ACSP was commissioned directly to supply the lighting fixtures by the project’s electrical contractors, NG Bailey, who were engaged by Arup to provide all the electrical installation requirements.