PwC Merchant Square
For those who want saving from the humdrum of corporate life, PwC provides a creatively illuminated space for the maximalist and modest worker, alike. Matthew Hanson of Holders Technology walks us through the firm’s magnificent new Merchant Square HQ.
PwC’s investment in Merchant Square – their largest office outside of London – was intended to bring the organization back into the heart of the city, and “embody the spirit of Belfast, a fusion of innovation, collaboration, and culture”. They wanted an office lighting design strategy to reflect this ambition.
‘Holders were brought in to support the engineering consultants on the project, TB&A, in the use of Casambi’s wireless lighting controls to meet the needs of the client.In conjunction with the M&E Engineers, Michael Nugent, Holders worked to deliver the lighting control design operating the designed lighting products’ explains Matthew Hanson, Group Business Development Director at Holders Technology.
This work resulted in a spectacular city center HQ, with a commanding presence, strong brand alignment, and an environment designed around those using the space. A vibrant commercial office befitting a ‘Big Four’ accounting firm.
A celebration of Light
‘The general specification for the lighting design was to provide artificial light which should wherever possible, “blend” with the surroundings and enhance the overall design of the building. In addition, light is used to display a strong sense of the brand within the building, using the colors of PwC’ Explains Matthew.
The “River Lagan” lighting, a twisting continuous linear color-controllable light that is wound through the building, represents the river running through the city of Belfast and is designed as part of a focus on well-being.
The Linenopolis Thread Lighting, running vertically through the center of the building, is also color controllable, allowing for a looped flow of changing color on the face of the building.
Inside the office, the color-controllable lights create defined working spaces and react to the use of the space and the level of natural light available.
The Linenopolis lighting is also designed to display the colors of important international health awareness and equality days, such as the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, and World Mental Health Day.
‘As a complete building refurbishment project, and with the need for dynamic lighting control, both in white and RGB lighting applications, Casambi enabled a single coherent lighting control solution which could be installed into the building with minimal impact on the infrastructure.’
Utilizing the broad ecosystem, including Casambi ASDs, Helvar Freedom Nodes, Maintronic XLED4CV, Danlers surface-mounted sensors, and Vimar Enocean-enabled switches, the complete design could be delivered robustly and seamlessly.
Large yet nimble
Holders are well versed in delivering wireless lighting projects of scale. Between 2017-2020, they helped the BBC install over 15 000 Casambi nodes across nine major UK sites – including their new Broadcasting House headquarters in London.
‘Having delivered significantly large Casambi projects in the past, it was perhaps expected that the Merchant Square project [4500 nodes] would present its own unique challenges. Holders and the consulting engineers, TB&A, worked very closely to develop the correct solution, using hardware from across the ecosystem, to deliver an outstanding outcome.’
Subsequently working with the main contractor, Michael Nugent, Holders steered the delivery and correct installation of various products and supported with on-site commissioning.
‘After the installation was complete, we received excellent feedback from the client’.
Design, Supply & Commissioning
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