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The £40 million re-model and refresh of intu Victoria Centre in Nottingham included a full upgrade, with the aim of transforming the Centre’s tired appearance and creating a fresh, exciting interior, while introducing a lit personality to the façade. In addition, the project delivered a prominent new southern entrance and a two-level catering cluster centred on the Grade II listed clock tower.

Hoare Lea Lighting was appointed by intu to design a new lighting scheme for intu Victoria Centre. To give the interior a fresh dynamism, many of the finishes were taken back to the primary structure before new layers were applied. The remodelling has allowed the daylight function to be enhanced and for the integration of energy-efficient artificial lighting. This has enabled the creation of a softly lit environment, in which strong visual architecture is supported by lighting.

Linear forms characterise the architectural enhancements and this language is echoed in the lighting design. Indirect linear lighting to the soffit provides ambient light (from ACDC’s Orelle) in a fresh 4000K white light. This contrasts with the warmer, more relaxing treatment of 3000K within the food and beverage courts. Here, linear ‘tramlines’ of light, from KKDC’s Lini Glow XL, run across the ceiling, their architectural forms spilling into the main malls, adding an exuberant feel and giving a playful visual lead from one space to the next.

Hidden sources and integrated lighting combine with white light and RGB colour-change for a clean, dynamic feel. On the walkways, soft washes from hidden lines-of-light are punctuated by pools of light created by spotlights and downlights from Lumenpulse/ AlphaLED and iGuzzini. Peripheral coves running parallel with the walkways are washed with a hidden RGBW linear product (Traxon’s 1PXL Cove Light), which allows for a subtle, slow, uniform colour-change throughout the day. This colour change is mirrored by RGBW feature pendants in the central mall, thereby ensuring a co-ordinated visual appearance. Suspended in the skylight bays, the ‘Conico’ pendants, custom-built by Optelma, are key visual features which work to visually separate the main retail mall spaces from the food and beverage courts, while softening the overall impression of the malls.

Commenting on the design, Chris Fox, Senior Lighting Designer, Hoare Lea said: ‘The approach we took was that of ‘lighting through layers’ – combining direct and indirect sources to build a visual scene with various options. Control allows dimming of groups of luminaires to create scenes and for the switching between pre-programed scenes throughout the day. ‘ The exterior of the Centre has been transformed, with the dated 1970s brutalist concrete facade now clad in a clean, contemporary finish. As night falls, the back-lit cladding comes alive with light and colour. White light follows the building’s form, washing each panel in a neutral 4000K, supplied by Osram’s LINEARLight Power Flex.

The cladding surrounding the main entrance has a linear wash. DMX feeds give control over each panel and, using a bespoke RGB lensed product from NJO Technology, turn the entrance into an eye-catching media façade. The Clock Tower, an icon on the Nottingham cityscape, has been given a traditional uplight treatment, which complements the architecture, while contrasting with the new backlit entrance cladding and glazed entrance. Ground-recessed uplights, from Bega, illuminate the red brickwork in 3000K, while spotlights (ACDC’s Plaza) pick out the higher levels and the clock face.

Martin Breeden Development Director of intu commented: ‘The £40m refurbishment of intu Victoria Centre has enhanced the centre’s look and feel throughout, and the lighting design has really complemented this, helping us to achieve a modern and welcoming environment.’

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