Project details

Project type: Arts + Culture
Location: London, United Kingdom
Architect: Matthew Lloyd Architects
Lighting Design: Mindseye


As part of the restoration of the RSA House, the lighting designers at Mindseye transformed the Great Room, a lecture space, with comfortable cove lighting.

The Lumencove fixtures allowed us to achieve a base ambient light level of 150 to 200 lux at floor level, through indirect uplighting in a space that’s 30 feet high.

Will Earl

Royal Society of Arts

For over 250 years, the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has been committed to broadening perspectives on social progress from an assortment of disciplines. Debates, lectures and private events are hosted in their beautiful Georgian headquarters, known as the RSA House, in London.

Matthew Lloyd Architects were invited to restore the RSA House, while the Mindseye lighting design firm was hired to enhance the space with a versatile lighting scheme that could adapt to a variety of social functions and furniture layouts, and be controllable to suit different atmospheres. Will Earl, who was Lighting and Product Designer at Mindseye during this project, says the lighting had to accentuate the historic details while remaining concealed.

"Where possible, light fittings would be hidden or blend in to the architecture, resulting in a natural feeling and integrated lighting scheme, which did not intrude on the restored architectural features and surfaces," Earl explains.

The Great Room, where many of the RSA's lectures are held, was going to be transformed into a multi-purpose event and conference space. As an alternative to the recessed downlights that were there before, the main ambient light source became Lumencove fixtures to uplight the 30-foot-high ceiling. "The refurbishing was an opportunity to take a much more considered, integral approach with the lighting, and allow for much more flexibility in the use of the space, through different qualities of light," Earl recalls. "By uplighting the restored ceiling from the cornices, the perception of the volume of the space was enhanced dramatically."

Despite the dark mural surrounding the Great Room, the uplit ceiling expands the space considerably. The lighting is also more comfortable. "The Lumencove fixtures allowed us to achieve a base ambient light level of 150 to 200 lux at floor level, through indirect uplighting in a space that's 30 feet high," says Earl. "The integral drivers meant installation was foolproof, and the lit effect is extremely even along the vaulted ceiling."

In addition, controls provide flexibility and different light qualities, which allow the client to adapt the room's illumination to any event. That's the key to Mindseye's design strategy: to be sensitive to the architecture, and to understand how people intend to use the space.

Equipment Specified
16 x Lumencove (8', 3000K)
4 x Lumencove (4', 3000K)
4 x Lumencove (3', 3000K)

Applications Used

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