Sutton Vane Associates has designed an elegant and sympathetic exterior lighting solution for Ely House in Mayfair’s Dover Street. The objective was to celebrate this fine example of 18th century architecture, distinguishing it from the attention-grabbing modern lighting on either side and enabling the glorious façade to take its rightful place as the dominant feature of the street.
During daylight hours the Grade One listed building is clearly the classy number. At night, with Victoria Beckham’s London store on one side and Erco Lighting on the other, this grand lady was in danger of being shouted down by the intense lighting of her neighbours.
The solution was to wash the façade from top to bottom in a warm white light, allowing the graceful architecture to tell its own story. Lit from the bottom – light sources are discretely placed at street level behind railings – the light skims the façade. “The articulation of the building is very strong and we wanted to emphasise this” explains Creative Director Julie O’Reilly.
The rich warm lighting treatment for the building was also entirely appropriate for the occupier – antiques company Mallet.
As you would expect with such a historically important building, the lighting designers faced particular technical challenges. “Obviously we could not fix any lighting to the building” continues Julie O’Reilly. “We looked into various options, including situating the lighting on the opposite side of the street, but in the end, the uplighting location we chose created exactly the effect we were looking for, so the restrictions were no problem.”
Approach Dover Street at night now, and this grand Georgian building simply outclasses its neighbours, grabbing attention with its own quiet elegance.