Imaginative LED solution for Bird’s Nest
Architect Kerem Aksoy from north London based practice A2studio called on the expertise of Penn Elcom’s architectural lighting project division to assist in finding a bespoke solution for lighting a cool residential project that he designed … ‘The Bird’s Nest’.
The Bird’s Nest is an imaginative bathroom extension which has transformed a well-positioned upper floor flat into a premium hidden gem, revealing views – via two large windows and a skylight – and incorporating a number of cutting edge innovations, including a liquid crystal ‘blink glass’ in the two vertical windows, which turns opaque when an electric current is applied to ensure privacy when required.
The name came from the commanding position of the space, nestling amidst the roof eaves. You would never imagine it has a north facing orientation observing the way the natural light works, and an ‘invisible corner’ is created by the largest window with two panes of glass UV bonded to each other eliminating the need for any vertical frame on the corner. The exterior is finished in smart grey fibre cement panelling, and with a funky light mustard contrasting extrusion around the main window.
Underlining the whole interior design was the perception of letting natural light flood into the space and work its magic.
Essential to this concept succeeding, the addition of artificial light was even more crucial.
The space is functional and airy, almost with an art gallery quality to it in the daytime …. And then it needed to become cosy, inviting and warm during twilight and darkness, an effect that would make the switchable glazing exude a lantern like glow.
Penn Elcom came highly recommended to A2studio by a known and trusted industry lighting designer.
“Penn stood out from the competition in providing a good choice of products with excellent lead times … and their attention to detail was impressive” commented Kerem, noting that this modus operandi is very much in tune with the way his practice likes to work.
They sought a complete custom solution and installation based around flicker free warm dimmable LED lighting with a smooth, even and totally homogenous output at 2700K and a high CRI. Being a bathroom, the fixtures also needed to be IP66 rated.
Razvan Vasiliu led the Penn team. After discussions with Kerem as to the exact requirements, he specified Osram Value Flex High Power Protect product which was supplied inside a Comus aluminium channel LEDAL14, complete with opal cover which produced the required perfect diffusion.
Penn stocks over 50 different types of LED strip, all with different colour temperatures and over 50 different choices of aluminium channelling covering multiple applications and situations.
Their bespoke service is well established, and for projects like the Bird’s Nest, it’s all about listening to all involved in the design process and coming up with a practical and cost-efficient proposal.
The unobtrusive LED strips are installed strategically in several places around the room including above the blink glass windows, in the corner above the shower and in the vanity unit just above the hand-basin.
LEDAL14 is a deep recessed profile – that accommodates the Value Flex Power creating a uniform glare-free linear light and has been specially developed by Penn Elcom for applications like this.
The IP66 rated Value Flex is a suitable option for high humidity and condensation environments like bathrooms, kitchens and pools, and two 1-10V dimmable Osram drivers were supplied as two separate control circuits were required.
The drivers supplied are also waterproofed – to IP 67 – and each is being controlled from Zano 1-10V Grid Dimmers which enable both dimming and switching. They offer several different types of grid adaptors and can be used with a broad range of front plates.
The dimmers have also been tested with a range of 1-10V LED drivers, including the Osram ones and produce the super-smooth, elegant dimming transitions that were key to producing the different light level effects that A2studio had specified.
The drivers had to be installed remotely so Penn had longer tails soldered to the LED flex. The strip was then fitted inside the aluminium channel and the cable routed through the sides or the back of the profile. A major challenge here was to avoid any black spots, and Razvan and the team at Penn overcame this without compromising on other important aspects like the light output or uniformity of the source.
Both LED strips and the profiles were supplied pre-assembled and cut to size to simplify the procedure on site.
“It was fantastic working with Razvan” commented Kerem, “He is a great team member, very responsive, highly knowledgeable, hands-on and a good problem solver”.
Everything was tested prior to dispatch from Penn’s manufacturing facility in Hastings and labelled for easy and quick identification for the installers on site.
Razvan commented, “We know from our day-to-day experiences that architects and lighting designers struggle with using standard off-the-shelf products for this type of project. Both the on-site conditions and customer requirements in this case demanded a larger range of linear lighting products and a bespoke service. This is where Penn Elcom can really assist by holding a substantial stock available for next day delivery together with the quick turnaround custom service.
“It has been a pleasure working with Kerem and A2Studio. The results of their vision speak for itself, and we look forward to being part of their future challenges!”