Alison Jacques Gallery

Client – Alison Jacques

Architect – Rundell Associates 

Lighting control – Lutron

Leading lighting design consultants, Lighting Design International (LDI) has played an integral role in creating an inviting and sophisticated space at a new location for London’s Alison Jacques Gallery.

The gallery has expanded its presence in the capital city with a new 6,000 square foot location on Cork Street, in the uber-chic district of Mayfair. The site was previously a vacant concrete shell that lay empty for several years.

Gallery owner Alison Jacques partnered with architects Rundell Associates to create a three-storied headquarters for the gallery, including three exhibition spaces. Lighting Design International was brought into the project by Rundell Associates, having successfully collaborated on many previous occasions.

Alison Jacques had a clear vision for the gallery: To create a space with no visual distractions such as staircases and pillars. Most importantly, it was vital there needed to be no sense of being watched for the visitor while they enjoyed the exhibitions. This was achieved through the creation of space with considerable height – an aspect of the design that has been delivered by Rundell’s impressive transformation of the venue.

The LDI team had an initial focus on the double-height space, ensuring it was lit effectively with the right choices over colour temperature and colour rendering. Ensuring clean lines and uninterrupted lighting was crucial to securing the vision Alison had for the space.

Adaptability was also an important element, to allow each artist’s exhibition to be perfectly illuminated and the art’s unique character to be showcased and fully appreciated.

The lighting scheme has therefore been developed to give the gallery maximum lighting flexibility within the minimalist architectural volumes.

LDI’s lighting design effortlessly achieves this through the use of diffused linear lighting, diffused ceilings and additional recessed tracks to allow spotlighting for dramatic focus, as and when required. The linear lighting throughout the scheme is tuneable white, allowing the gallery to transition the overall feel according to the artwork or the time of day.

The lighting design also incorporates key tuneable white elements in the office spaces to help employees boost productivity during the day and maintain their circadian rhythms in the evenings. High colour rendering also forms a crucial part of the design to capture the artists’ eye for the colours in their pieces in the most accurate lighting.

A Lutron Athena control system has been introduced, enabling the gallery’s team to change the lighting from one exhibition to the next, using a straightforward and simple app. The dimmable system allows for the lighting colour temperature and intensity to be selected to match the artwork on display.

Overall, the lighting is completely adaptable and transitional by the gallery. This ensures the gallery can benefit from a system that is future-proofed and can be reorientated to best suit the needs of the space as the exhibitions change.

Graham Rollins, Creative Director at Lighting Design International, said “Art galleries are always pleasurable projects to be part of as they imbue vision and passion.

“The carefully curated lighting scheme at Alison Jacques’ new gallery space is clean, sophisticated and beautifully blends aesthetics with the practicalities of illuminating art so it can be showcased in the best possible way.

“It is also wonderful knowing that the lighting can be adapted for new exhibitions, giving the gallery team complete agency over how they can best use the lighting to stage each artist’s work in a personalised way.” 

Jade King, Designer at Lighting Design International, said: “It was a refreshing experience to work on such an impressive Gallery project. Having a personal interest in galleries in the past, I was inspired and interested to be immersed in the process involved, ensuring the design and lit environment compliment the art and curation.

“It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience to help create a scheme that is fully flexible whilst maintaining the slick, minimalist style of the gallery. We couldn’t be prouder of the finished product.”

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