Oldham Old Town Hall
Client: NG Bailey
Lighting design: BDP
Photography: BDP/Nick Caville
acdc product: Blade Micro
Oldham Old Town Hall is BDP’s £37m multi-award-winning conversion of a Grade II listed former civic building into a state of art cinema and retail. Existing rooms have been kept and transformed into truly unique cinema screens, and a highly contemporary new illuminated façade comprising a translucent glass light wall has created a new identity for Clegg Street.
The town hall’s extension is a key element in the development. It provides a new entrance and foyers to the cinema areas, a façade towards a new pedestrian square and the Town Square shopping centre, as well as an animated street environment, especially at night.
The framework for the huge light wall is a steel structure extending 8m out from the original glazed brick façade of the town hall, forming a grand new circulation zone entered from the north side.
With the new light wall representing an iconic beacon of the hall’s regeneration, BDP sought a lighting solution which would offer enough power and brightness to effectively illuminate each of the 257 translucent glazed panels. Crucially, the light wall had to produce a vibrant, modern landmark to create an exciting, welcoming public space and create a dramatic effect from outside.
BDP specified acdc’s Blade Micro luminaire for backlighting the frosted glass panels. This decision was made following several trials and mock-ups of Blade Micro on site, to prove it would meet BDP’s design and performance objectives.
Katja Nurminen, Senior Lighting Designer at BDP, played an integral role in the project. She explains: “Various linear LED wall grazer luminaires were tested on site and we chose acdc’s Blade with extra bright 4200K LEDs. Our final decision was based on site mock-ups, available glare control, luminaire length, colour temperature, light quality and overall cost.
“acdc provided samples for site tests as agreed and offered to be on site for the mock-ups. This proved to be very helpful as several mock-ups were required to receive approval from all the relevant parties, including designers, architects and the client. The whole process was managed very professionally and the good service acdc provided was crucial to the success of this project.”
Paul Whittaker, Project Manager at acdc, adds:
“The mock ups were carried out as soon as the first glass panels went in. Because the façade and new pedestrian square were closed off at the time, we were fortunate this was relatively easy.”
“Mocking up to define the correct product specification was key, so we tried different LED colours, optics and accessories. Blade Micro proved it was indeed the perfect solution. Its low profile, high output, constant colour binning and wide range of accessories were particularly beneficial for the scale of this project.”