One Bartholomew is a remarkable new Grade A office building set in the heart of London between Western City and the creative Farringdon locale and representing the latest completed element of Barts Square. Superbly connected to the entire capital, this 12-storey, 221,000 sq.ft. building has unparalleled views over Barts Square, St Pauls and on to the Shard’s unmistakeable pinnacle.
Signbox was invited to tender for a CAT A signage project for the One Bartholomew project by the architect, Sheppard Robson. During the process, the Signbox team were able to devise a solution for a powerful neon ‘barcode’ wall art concept conceived by Helical CEO Gerald Kaye for which Sheppard Robson had, until then, struggled to appoint a supplier who could interpret and execute the ingenious scheme. A series of design reviews followed and Signbox was duly commissioned to deliver a complex LED illumination solution that would create an exhilarating visual impact within the building’s vast, double-height reception space.
Weighing almost one metric tonne and measuring 15,000 x 2,000mm, this colossal installation presented obvious structural challenges, not least in maintaining the physical integrity of the unit itself and the elaborate cable system that would support it. The quest to ensure the structure’s wiring looms and LED driver units remained hidden and the entire support system discreet was also a priority; again the scale and intricacy of the installation meant this would prove a formidable task. A meticulous process of research and development enabled Signbox to create a designed resolution that would meet both the scheme’s complex engineering requirements and the exacting visual brief.
The Technical Detail:
This unique installation comprised a series of vertical neon lighting panels that spelt out the building name, One Bartholomew, in barcode. The complex cabling for each panel was designed to sit within a narrow MF ceiling detail inside a series of recessed lighting troughs that were set in front of a mechanically fixed stone wall cladding system.
Since the lighting raft had to be lightweight and capable of thermal management, it was fabricated from aluminium in five sections of three metres that could be transported and assembled on site easily. Each face element of the barcode was fabricated from Perspex® Spectrum opal white acrylic, which is specially formulated to give optimised colour performance with both transmitted and reflected light using white LEDs. Thanks to an improved diffusion of light and the elimination of LED hotspots, slimmer designs such as this can be achieved when using this product.
3M 3630 translucent series vinyls were then applied to achieve the required colour gradient and keyhole fixings in each acrylic side return were added to allow access to the LEDs for maintenance and cleaning. Finally, 4mm steel suspension cables were sleeved with small-bore aluminium tubing to conceal the power cables to each raft and strategically placed counter-balancing weights were fitted to ensure the integrity of the suspension of the finished piece remained true.
Through a process of collaboration, research and development, the Signbox team delivered a show-stopping LED lighting installation with a commanding presence that is projected across the building’s reception and its frontage. Such is the impact of the barcode’s unique neon composition, it is already fast-becoming a referenced landmark for visitors to One Bartholomew and those in its immediate vicinity, day and night.