Concord – illuminating the new Design Museum

The Design Museum’s new home in Kensington, South London has been open for eight months now and the building is a marvel of modern construction with its stunning interior designed by John Pawson and illuminated via a multi-faceted lighting scheme employing Concord luminaires from Feilo Sylvania

The roof of the original 1960s Grade II* listed building has remained whereas the rest of the building has been remodelled. The new building aims be the world’s leading museum of contemporary design and architecture: ‘an international showcase for the many design skills at which Britain excels and a creative centre, promoting innovation and nurturing the next generation of design talent’. It aims to welcome over 650,000 visitors to the building each year including 60,000 learners to use the Swarovski Foundation Centre for Learning.

Concord has been working with the Design Museum since 2014 to supply the new lighting scheme ready for the opening in November 2016. Designed by lighting consultants ChapmanBDSP and installed with LJJ Mechanical & Electrical Contractors, Concord has provided over 2,500 luminaires to light the 10,000m² space. The Design Museum houses one permanent collection, two temporary exhibition spaces, 400m² of learning spaces along with two shops, one cafe, one restaurant, a member’s lounge, a 200 seat auditorium and an event space for launches and events.

The Design Museum is an icon in its own right and the lighting has been designed to blend into the architectural features of the structure, whilst still providing a flexible and easy to manage system says Graham Large, Head of Architectural Lighting Design at ChapmanBDSP:  “When we first developed a specification for this project, it incorporated a variety of lighting manufacturers. The Design Museum then asked us to look at working with one supplier and, after a competitive bid process Concord was the partner chosen. We worked with Concord to refine the specification and ensure all the lighting met our initial ideas and goals. We were impressed with the results and found it extremely useful to be dealing with one person on every aspect of the lighting, including all the controls.”

The main exhibition and event spaces on the upper basement, mezzanine and first floor use over 800 Concord Beacon Muse 3000k White track mounted spotlight to provide flexibility in beam angle control and light levels. Over 200m of Lumiance Lumistrip has also been installed in the exhibition space to provide indirect light above the exhibition panels whilst the entrances have Mini Continuum with integrated spotlights.

Concord worked with Lutron to provide a DALI control system for the project. The system allows for individual dimming and control of all the luminaires throughout the scheme to ensure the required effect is achieved in each space and it will cater for flexible use during both daylight and night time hours.

In total, there are 1,200 Beacon Muse spotlights installed in the building project mounted onto around 1,000 metres of Lytespan 3 track.

“The Design Museum is a multi-use building with people coming to not only look at the wonderful building and exhibitions but also to take advantage of our learning and hospitality spaces,” says Shaun Fradd, Head of Philanthropy at the Design Museum. “This mixture of uses as well as its size meant the museum required a variety of lighting solutions to properly light each space whilst maintaining a desired aesthetic across the whole building. Working with one lighting partner simplified the specification and installation process. Concord worked with our design team to listen to what we wanted and worked with us to find the best solution for each area.”

Ambient Lighting 

In the two temporary galleries as well as the educational areas and studios Concord Beacon Muse luminaires have been installed in combination with Concord Mini Continuum LED to provide a combination of ambient lighting with focussed task illumination from the spotlights. Mini Continuum is used in a combination of track mounted versions for the studio areas, pendants for larger areas as well as Mini Continuum Direct / Indirect through the office spaces lighting the desks whilst enhancing the working space with indirect light on the ceilings. “The team at the museum was very hands on during the process and knew exactly what they wanted. For instance, the spotlights within the galleries have on board dimmers so the staff can focus and set light levels themselves, a key requirement for the project,” says Large.

The 200 seat Bakala auditorium has a fully controlled lighting system that features both Mini Continuum and black Beacon Muse luminaires to blend into interior decor.

Across the whole building, the luminaires have been designed to blend into the décor with black trim Concord Ascent 150 downlights, mini continuum and beacon discreetly lighting the Retail spaces by matching the ceiling design, whilst Beacon Muse on drop rod extensions, have been employed to subtly illuminate the space through a woodened beam ceiling design structure.

The lighting scheme is finished off with specialist luminaires for areas such as the Member’s lounge and Parabola Café & Restaurant, where the 90 Concord Myriad V downlights have been fitted. These luminaires have a colour tuning engine to take the room from 2,700k as an intimate dining space to 4,500k for functional and service use at other times. For the central parabola ceiling, Concord supplied high output surface mounted and floor recessed LED projectors (by Anolis), to provide accent light to this feature.

The lighting scheme extends to the back of house with Concord providing IP65 recessed fittings for kitchens, Ascent downlights for the bathrooms, LED surface mounted panels in the basement and IP65 Sylvania Sylproof LED linear fittings for the plant rooms and loading bays.

Key Products:

1200 Concord Beacon Muse spotlights

Over 170 Ascent 150 including Self Test emergency functionality

Over 800 metres Mini Continuum with a range of mounting types including emergency versions

Nearly 1000 metres of Lytespan 3 track including 110 track mounted emergency modules

90 Myriad V Tuneable 2700k to 4500k

200 metres Lumiance Lumistrip

250 Sylproof LED

For more information visit