Kemps’ Managing Director: A year in architectural lighting

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Mark Kemp

After another busy year packed full of architectural lighting innovation, it’s useful to take look back at some of the highlights. We caught up with Kemps’ Managing Director, Mark Kemp, to chat about the key projects and challenges of 2017, as well as any what products are on the horizon for next year.

Q: What have been your architectural lighting highlights of this year?



A: There’s a long list of brilliant projects to choose from this year. The Proteus we supplied for The Berkeley Hotel scheme stands out as a 5-star design that oozes class. There’s also the award-winning flagship John Lewis at Leeds’ Victoria Gate, where we supplied bespoke brass housing with a high power LED fitting. The finished uplighters illuminate the intricate and ornate façade – which looks fantastic at night.



We also supplied over 300 metres of our RGBW Alphaues product for the Leake Street redevelopment on London’s South Bank. You can see our product lighting up the funky street art on the tunnel arches which has become an exciting new tourist attraction.



Westone Shopping Centre, London, was probably the biggest highlight of the year due to the manufacturing expertise required. We designed a new aluminium profile and new PCB to fit LEDs over 120 hexagonal surfaces and recessed fittings – all within only 8 weeks. This kind of test shows what a great team we are building here at Kemps and how far we have come over the past 12 months. We are looking forward to a fantastic 2018 with even more great projects and products.



Q: Are there any types of fitting you’d like to explore further next year?



A: We’re looking at designing a new range of exterior accent lighting products for facades and commercial buildings. We’ve also been inspired by our work at Westone to develop a new range of LED shapes – so keep your eyes peeled for these.



Exciting new products are often born from projects requiring bespoke elements and if we create something we think may be useful elsewhere, we’ll look into making it more widely available. In this way, we keep our product range at the forefront of the industry.




Q: When it comes to large scale architectural lighting projects, what types of building or refurbishments do Kemps love to work on?


A: We really don’t mind – we just love to see our lighting in action! It’s great to be involved in high-end projects that get good exposure, but we also have a soft spot for heritage projects.


Working on projects where subtle lighting is key, we always appreciate the vision of the lighting designer and the creativity they bring. In fact, the initial design can sometimes leave you wondering ‘what are they thinking?’ – until you see the end results. Then you truly appreciate what they do and how they use light in ways you couldn’t imagine.




Q: You’ve done some great restoration work at Kemps. What’s the appeal of this?


A: We enjoy a challenge and our team love to bring a tired light fitting back into use for another 10 years. It’s fantastic to know that you’ve given a space a new lease of life while preserving its original charm.


We also relish the challenge of working with different materials and restoration projects provide the opportunity for the team to add to their skill set with every project they complete.




Q: Are there any projects (that you can mention!) that you’re particularly excited to see reach completion in the New Year?

We’re currently working on the refurbishment of the Royal Opera House in London and we’ve developed a new compact linear LED recessed fitting for the ceilings. We have also created some bespoke stair fittings for this same project, so it will be a great to see the site reach completion in early 2018.


We’ve also just delivered the final orders for Bluewaters Dubai where we’ve supplied over 5km of Proteus LED. We’re excited to see this lit up in the new year!



Q: You travel quite frequently. Where has the architectural lighting particularly inspired you?


A: I travel a lot to Dubai and architectural lighting over there continues to push the boundaries, both in scale and design. With every building trying to stand out and attract attention, lighting designers are under pressure to deliver increasingly ambitious schemes. As such, they need trusted manufacturers like Kemps on board to deliver their designs – and we are always happy to help!



To keep up-to-date with some of our most recent work, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn where we share regular updates on the projects and products we are working on.

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