London’s architecture is rich with history and cultural references. Living and working in the city has influenced our lighting collections in subtle ways, spanning multiple schools of architecture. Here are a few of our favourite London buildings and the lighting designs they have inspired.
Renzo Piano, master architect of The Shard, took inspiration for the building’s design from the masts of tall ships, which feature prominently in the Venetian artist Canaletto’s work. Completed in 2012, The Shard represents a new era for London’s skyline, transformed from the familiar spires and domes along the thames into a steel, glass dreamscape.
It was this skyline which directly inspired Massimo Buster Minale to create CAGED, a collection of modular lighting systems. CAGED takes the simple box light design and transforms it into customisable building blocks.
The Switch House
The Switch House is a relatively new addition to London’s most important cultural and architectural landmarks. Having opened in June 2016, the latticed brick building was designed to blend seamlessly with the Tate Modern’s existing site, the converted Bankside Power Station by Giles Gilbert Scott. Herzog & de Meuron, the architects responsible for the original conversion of The Tate Modern, worked on the project, ensuring a consistency in the brickwork for the entire project. Slithers of glass allow light to permeate the building, bringing a freshness to the interior, which keeps it feeling modern.
This blend of older London materials with innovative design, was incredibly important to Buster + Punch when designing STONED. The table light uses raw materials such as marble and granite, that have been used for centuries in London’s streets and landmarks. The LED light pipe is the modern twist, creating a warm yet crisp quality of light, reminiscent of Victorian era candle light.
Golden Lane Estate
The Golden Lane Estate was designed as social housing in 1952 by Geoffrey Powell, a lecturer in architecture, who won a competition organised by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
To complete the project, he formed his architectural practice Chamberlin, Powell and Bon with two fellow lecturers at the Kingston School of Art. They went on to design The Barbican estate which is close by. The estate is characterised by its use of primary colours on the building’s facade and has Corbusian characteristics, drawing architecture fans to the site more than 50s years on.
While Buster + Punch admires the Golden Lane Estate as a whole, it is the subterranean garages which inspire our lighting collections. The circular wells of light have a modernist feeling and were used as a design reference when the HOOKED shades were created.
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