Renovating one’s office is a real challenge for any architect and designer, as it requires reflecting on the firm’s identity, vision, and values while creating a functional and comfortable environment for staff and clients. The team of Zaha Hadid Architects – ZHA, one of the most renowned and influential architectural firms in the world, with projects such as the MAXXI Museum in Rome and the London Aquatics Centre in their portfolio, faced this challenge with excellence, transforming their historic headquarters at 101 Goswell Road in London, a former textile factory, into a state-of-the-art workspace that supports their diverse and collaborative work culture.
The Importance of Lighting in Architectural Design
A key element in the conception of Zaha Hadid Architects’ new headquarters was the lighting system, custom-designed by ERCO, the LED architectural lighting specialist.
ERCO’s lighting solutions improved the flexibility and adaptability of the spaces, creating different atmospheres and moods according to the users’ needs and preferences, while respecting the heritage and character of the building. The result is an outstanding example of how lighting design can make a difference in the quality and performance of offices, and in the well-being and satisfaction of the people who work in them.
ERCO’s Collaborative Design Approach with ZHA
To create a spacious and bright office space, ZHA collaborated with ERCO, the specialist for LED architectural lighting, to design a custom lighting system based on the principles of human-centric lighting. The Opton wallwashers and the Jilly downlights for electrified tracks create a uniform and comfortable illumination, while also hiding the lighting fixtures and enhancing the height of the ceilings. The Jilly system also allows for flexibility and adaptability, as the spotlights can be easily moved along the track to suit the different needs and preferences of the users.
ERCO’s Lighting Techniques in ZHA’s Innovative Office Design
ZHA’s Analytics + Insights unit, a research group that uses digital data and Artificial Intelligence to predict the future of workspace design, helped to create a variety of spaces where people can work and meet, from the social area on the fourth floor to the transit spaces in the centre of the building, marked by a multifaceted cork wall. The lighting also creates different atmospheres and moods, using warmer tones for the “heart” of the building and cooler tones for the workspaces.
The Opton spotlights also highlight the architectural models and drawings that showcase the impressive scope of ZHA’s projects. The wireless Casambi Bluetooth control enables easy replacement or dimming of the lights, either individually or in groups, as well as automatic switching off of the lights in the spaces not in use, improving energy efficiency. The ground floor and basement combine exhibition galleries with facilities dedicated to design research and digital fabrication, allowing the ZHA to showcase the innovation in architecture in different ways. ERCO Parscan 48V projectors allow ZHA to transform the environment according to its use, going from large, uniform spaces to more striking effects.
«We can change the space in different ways,» explains Melodie Leung, associate director of ZHA. «Sometimes we want a very wide and uniform space, other times we look for a more suggestive effect».