Well heeled lighting at Kurt Geiger

Light Bureau has completed an installation for shoe retailer Kurt Geiger in the Portobello Road area of Notting Hill, London. The store includes over 500sqft of retail space and is designed to impart a sense of upmarket boutique. Glass shelves adorn mirrored walls whilst bespoke glass tables and consoles provide central display areas. This carefully selected pallet of finishes provides high reflection and affords continual views of merchandise throughout the store.

Tasked to provide architectural lighting consultancy for the store, Light Bureau director Paul Nulty explains the philosophy behind the lighting solution: ‘We really wanted to maintain focus on merchandise, creating contrast between the vertical surfaces, display tables and circulation zone. The skill has been to control the light in the way we have. With so many mirrors it would have been very easy to get uncomfortable reflections of light fittings or to produce a scheme with a bland, homogenous quality of light due to inter-reflections –this has been avoided. With careful planning and focusing we have achieved a high quality solution with a subtle variation in light level between merchandise and circulation.’


The lighting solution comprises a series of track mounted, low energy, metal halide spotlights that utilize a 24 degree beam to the perimeter shelving and 10 degree beam to the central displays and it is this variation that enables a reduced light level to the circulation zone providing contrast and drama. Also mounted to the shelving units are a series of miniature long-life, low energy LED sources which are an interesting addition to the scheme as Nulty explains: ‘In terms of light levels the track mounted spotlights achieve an adequate level of illumination through the glass shelves, however, we felt strongly that an additional layer of lighting was required to really ‘set-off’ the shoes and to create ‘sparkle’ (many of the shoes are set with jewels or use specular materials).’ Nulty’s thoughts have been proved correct as there is certainly a sense of ‘jewel case’ about the shelving displays, which in turn enhances the quality of the space.


Another key feature within the space is the shoe chandelier, designed by John Field Architects. The centre piece acts as a focal point for the store and houses numerous shoes. The chandelier is set with multi-filament incandescent sources which, aside from being visually stunning also back-light the shoes. Carefully located spotlights provide front illumination to the chandelier, but the Light Bureau team have been at pains to ensure that the front-light lighting does not overpower the incandescent sources.

Light Bureau also worked closely with luminaire suppliers Lightworks to select light fixtures that were readily available to ensure a smooth completion of the project.


Photography Credit: Nicholas Adams


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