GDS gets taken to The Tower

Published: WORSHIP

GDS gets taken to The Tower

UK: One of the most historic landmarks in the city of London, the Tower of London is almost a millennium old. At the heart of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London’s White Tower is The Chapel of St John the Evangelist, an example of Anglo-Norman church architecture built in 1078. St John’s has served as a royal chapel for its entire, storied existence and still hosts several royal services for the Queen's Chaplain each year.

Today, the chapel and the tower around it are managed by the charity Historic Royal Palaces (HRP). In an effort to improve the experience for visitors and congregational acts of worship alike, HRP had been exploring the possibility of improving the lighting setup inside St John’s and consulted with Carden & Godfrey, the retained architects for Historic Royal Palaces at the Tower of London. The architecture firm recommended James Morse Lighting Design for the project, having worked alongside the specialist in the interior and exterior lighting of historic buildings during a project at Rochester Cathedral.

With strict instructions to leave the ancient fabric of the Romanesque chapel undisturbed, James Morse designed a solution with a wireless GDS ArcSystem. Brought in to install the solution was EV Bullen, a mechanical and electrical building services company that has provided more than 30 years service to the Royal Household and Historic Royal Palaces and was therefore accustomed to the nature of such projects.

The GDS ArcSystem is fed by the existing mains wiring and comprises ArcPro MR16 2,700K fixtures of 33° and 24° variants, controlled by an ArcPro Mesh Control TX1 transmitter. GDS provided a bespoke stand for several MR16 fittings where it was not possible to attach them to surfaces and lighting scenes were programmed to account for winter and summer daylight conditions and all manner of services.

‘As a world heritage site, ancient monument and one of the UK's most popular visitor attractions, The Tower is easily one of the most recognisable buildings in the world,’ says GDS managing director Matthew Lloyd. ‘The installation of ArcSystem into St John's Chapel is a special moment indeed for GDS. We worked closely with Historic Royal Palaces to provide a high quality, low impact solution in a sensitive environment. James Morse is a true specialist and his specification of ArcSystem for this and a number of other similarly challenging briefs is very gratifying.’

lighting, gds, chapel, ev bullen, james morse