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Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester

11-26-2009 12:46 PM CET | Science & Education

Press release from: Zumtobel Lighting GmbH

The striking new building of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester‘s city centre arouses interest. Cubes nested into each other, large-format and light-coloured stone tiles combined with lots of glass demonstrate monumental geometry seemingly in contrast with the lightness of the music dominating inside.

Light for educational establishments must meet very special requirements. Architecture and interior design are decisive factors that make it possible to respond flexibly to the most varied application options. Architecture and light, seeing and learning are closely connected in this respect. Glare-free daylight, pleasant colours, ergonomic furniture and flexible lighting solutions help to create rooms of experience that make students want to learn. It is in particular the meaningful combination of daylight and artificial lighting via intelligent control systems that enables custom solutions and at the same time the efficient use of resources. This concept has been brilliantly implemented in the RNCM annex building.

The Royal College is one of the most renowned music education facilities in Europe. The building situated on Oxford Road, which has been in need of an extension for a long time, is very limited in floor space. This was turned into a virtue on the ground floor where an acoustic buffer against traffic noise doubles up as a shop window for the college, allowing it to promote its activities as an international conservatoire and successful arts centre. Additional appeal is achieved by downlights with variable colours which turn the space into a glowing light box with spectacular colour changes, attracting the attention of passers-by. Inside, the lighting system is supplemented by a discreet, flush-mounted lighting channel system incorporating four different lighting inserts: spotlights, downlights, linear luminaires, wallwashers.

Large window surfaces and skylights in nearly all areas allow lots of daylight to enter the rooms, providing an ever-changing atmosphere. Only where the amount of natural light is not sufficient is artificial lighting added using a lighting management system. According to Craig Jackson of Gifford and Partners, who specified the lighting, finding the right fittings for an acoustically sensitive environment was a particular challenge. “The luminaires must be robust and without parts which could reverberate from the sound of the instruments,” says Jackson. “A suspended solution in this area was out of the question as the sound would have made the lighting move. We also had to ensure a coordinated design with the coffered acoustic ceiling.” More than 100 Lightfields recessed luminaires were specified for these spaces. Thanks to their special micro-pyramidal optic, they provide extremely uniform, glare-free light – essential for students in lengthy rehearsals who need to read music scores under high quality lighting conditions.

Project information:
Client: Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester/UK
Achitecture: MBLA Architects + Urbanists, Manchester/UK
Electrical design: Gifford and Partners, Manchester/UK

Lighting solution:
CLARIS II pendant luminaires, PANOS downlights, LIGHTFIELDS recessed luminaires, 2LIGHT downlights, LIGHTOOLS lighting system, Luxmate Emotion lighting management system

Zumtobel is an internationally leading supplier of integral lighting solutions for a wide variety of applications. "We want to use light to create worlds of experience, make work easier and improve communications and safety while remaining fully aware of our responsibility to the environment." This is the vision Zumtobel, a Zumtobel Group company, has been following for more than 50 years, developing innovative and individual lighting solutions that fulfil every requirement as regards ergonomics, economic efficiency and environmental compatibility and create added value in terms of aesthetics. With company-owned sales organisations and commercial agencies in more than 70 countries, Zumtobel shows international presence at the customer’s site. The Austrian company sets great store by international contacts to establish a worldwide network of experts and design partners within the lighting industry.

Zumtobel Lighting GmbH
Schweizer Str. 30
A-6851 Dornbirn

Kerstin Schitthelm
PR Manager
0043 5572 390 1484

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