William Heath Robinson Lighting

Sutton Vane lighting for the Heath Robinson Museum

“The Trust is hugely impressed with the quality, styling and impact of the lighting from Sutton Vane for the new Heath Robinson Museum. The lighting captures perfectly the approach we had been looking for in a modern museum celebrating the quirky genius of William Heath Robinson’s work. Visitor and media feedback has also reinforced this view. We are also very pleased with the expertise, support and service provided by the Sutton Vane team and would not hesitate to recommend them.” 

Cliff Lichfield, Estates and Finance Manager, Heath Robinson Museum


See the video of this amazing artwork by Martin Richman, illuminated by Sutton Vane Associates.

Designing Lighting for the Historic Interior

Mark conducts a study day at Syon House, taking the audience through centuries of lighting evolution from fire to Roman oil lamps and candles right up to the very latest in LED lights.

Aimed at those involved in the restoration and redecoration of historic houses, this was a valuable introduction to the best way to approach beautiful and efficient lighting, whilst respecting the integrity of the historic home.

The day was hosted by the well informed Historic Decoration team: Caroline Percy, Oliver Gerrish and Zuleika Parkin. Caroline conducted a tour through parts of Syon House with Mark Sutton Vane explaining the existing light sources and demonstrating lighting possibilities. Oliver was also on hand to provide further information.

The day was rounded off by a fabulous tea in the Green Drawing Room at Syon House, with delicious cakes adorned specially with candelabras made by Zuleika.

A visitor to the study day has since remarked “It was a great day all round”.For further study days on the evolution of historic interiors conducted by leading experts at Syon House:



York Minster Revealed

Earlier this year Sutton Vane Associates completed a dramatic new lighting scheme in the West Nave in York Minster. The new scheme is more discrete, energy efficient, and flexible than the previous scheme. The beautiful new light renders the magnificent interior in a whole new light!

Luminaires are located at triforium level to illuminate the Nave, and above the capitals to illuminate the aisles. The mounting details were carefully developed to ensure that the luminaires were concealed from view.

The Minster can take on a whole variety of personalities, with specially programmed lighting scenes for public visiting hours, worship, ceremonies ,concerts and other events.

Sutton Vane lights up local awards

2016 is proving to be a very exciting year for Sutton Vane Associates as we were recently part of the design team for extensive public realm works at Tottenham Green that won the Best Place or Landscaping Scheme award at the 2016 Haringey Design Awards.

The team, acting on behalf of Haringey Council, led by architects Adams & Sutherland, included ourselves, quantity surveyors: Sweett, civil engineers: Civic, M&E engineers: Freeman Beesley, soft landscape designers: JCLA, and contractor Loughman, transformed Tottenham Green, creating a new civic heart. The green space has been improved and pedestrian space extended, creating a setting for new activities, including street markets, whilst also acting as a catalyst for improvements to surrounding buildings.

The award, in part, was down to the stunning lighting effects created on the elaborate historic facades of a number of listed buildings along Town Hall Approach, including the former Tottenham town hall, built in 1904.

The lighting element, in particular, presented a number of challenges. With existing services under the pavements surrounding the site, the Sutton Vane team had to make a series of difficult decisions on where to position the lights in order to avoid cables and other obstacles, while creating a lighting scheme that celebrated the sheer magnificence of the building. The end result was a fantastic visual triumph and secured the award for the design team.   

For more information on the awards, or to take a look at the other winners, please visit the awards site here.

Shadows delight in Mexico

Last week Mark Sutton Vane presented his talk titled ‘The Delight of Shadows’ to a packed room at South America’s largest specialist lighting event, IALD Enlighten Americas 2016 held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

His chosen topic sparked so much interest that the organisers doubled his allocated time slot to allow for audience participation.

The first half of the talk focused around a presentation on the softer side of lighting.  Mark spoke about the emotion that light and shadow can convey, touching on how to bring out the heart and soul of a room or space by using shadow and light to create truly emotive visual effects. This section also featured more of a technical insight into the ‘Spirit of Shadows’ and demonstrated best practice when working with spaces of differing design and size.

For the final part Mark introduced an interactive element, volunteers from the audience who included budding light enthusiasts from the University of Colorado who used an array of Mark’s specially created cut outs, torches, and filters with varying strengths of light, diffusion, and colour in order to create majestic patterns on the auditorium walls.  Much fun was had by all.

For more information about the role that shadows can play to create mesmerising light patterns for you, please contact us here


The lighting of a rather neglected railway bridge in Haringey by Sutton Vane Associates proves how one relatively small-scale project can bring about a dramatic improvement in the visual environment.

Bruce Grove Bridge has been transformed into a local landmark, washed with blue light and providing an appealing, attractive route both during the day and night.

One small part of the GLA funded initiative ‘Growth on the High Road’, wider environmental improvements to Tottenham High Road, undertaken by Haringey Council and led by architects Adams & Sutherland, the bridge by Bruce Grove Station is a great example of how small changes can contribute to an enhanced sense of place and local identity.

Carrying the railway over the road, the bridge not only looked tatty with faded peeling paintwork, but also created an unpleasant thoroughfare for pedestrians, particularly at night.

Working closely with local stakeholders, Adams & Sutherland decided to turn this rather apologetic structure into a positive feature. The bridge was repainted in blue and the name of the station is now emblazoned across the bridge, giving it an identity as well as providing direction. It was up to Sutton Vane Associates, supported by environmental engineers Freeman Beesley, to capitalise on its regeneration during the night.

The plan was simple: to bathe the underside of the bridge in blue light to reinforce the effect of the new paint and branding, transforming it into a beacon that is fast establishing itself as a local landmark.

The blue light is provided by blue coloured LEDs controlled by photo cells to ensure the lighting only comes on as the natural light fades.

While the concept is simple, the execution turned out to be less so.  As the bridge is a working railway bridge there are stringent regulations as to what can be fixed to the structure, making the cabling of the installation technically challenging.  A compromise was reached whereby two controllers run the lighting, avoiding the need to pass cable across the underside of the bridge.

The end result is a huge success transforming a small area of neglect into an emphatic and attractive feature of the urban landscape.

For more information go to www.sva.co.uk