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Smythe Library, Tonbridge School

Prize(s) Winners in Workplace Lighting
Company BDP
Lead Designers Mark Ridler
Other Designer's names Colin Ball, Sarah Alsayed
Architecture Company BDP
Interior Design Company BDP
Client Tonbridge School
Photo Credits Hufton and Crow
Completion Date September 2016
Project Location Kent, UK
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Entry Description
Smythe Library has been refurbished and updated to reflect modern standards. All internal walls were stripped out to create open, flexible spaces over four levels.
All lamps were replaced with high colour rendering warm white LEDs with stable flicker-free dimming. All ambient lighting was created by linear diffused fittings centrally placed to shelving and centred on windows so that 200Lx ambient was achieved on all vertical shelving with minimum use of lamps. The central feature arch was brightly illuminated with cool white 4000K to complement and balance daylight in the central space, allowing all lamps to be powered down when sufficient daylight was achieved.
The narrow footprint and glazed stair tower to the south enabled a simple natural ventilation strategy as well as providing high levels of daylight. The staircase was conceived as a vertical cloister; designed not only as improved circulation space, but also a place to pause and connect with the garden. Here lighting is integrated within the handrails placing light when and where it where it is needed at night. This same technique was employed for all exterior areas to maintain a low glare, low power ambience.
Company Description
BDP is a major international, interdisciplinary practice of architects, designers, engineers, lighting designers and urbanists. Founded in 1961, we employ 1300 people, combining expertise across disciplines, locations, sectors, designing at every scale.
Teamwork, conceptual integrity and sustainability are central to our philosophy and methods. We are market leaders in retail, heritage, leisure, education, libraries, workplace, public realm, art and art galleries, exterior architecture, environmental impact assessments and daylight design.