Lighting For Scottish Parliament Debating Chamber Honored with IALD Award of Merit
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Luminaries of the lighting profession gathered at the elegant Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia, PA USA on 22 May to honor the winners of the 36th Annual International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) International Lighting Design Awards. Twentythree projects from 12 countries were on display—including exteriors, interiors, workspaces, museums, hospitality sites and a place of worship. This year’s winners represent some of the most innovative and inspiring architectural lighting design work found anywhere in the world. 

The lighting design for the Scottish Parliament Debating Chamber in Edinburgh, Scotland UK by KSLD | EFLA Lighting Design took home an IALD Award of Merit.  

The soft light that lends a healthy glow to parliamentarians and visiting guests comes from the geometric, visually interesting LED lights gracing the entirety of the chamber. Judges called these bespoke LED lights a “technically brilliant solution” to the challenge placed before KSLD—how to light a room that functions effectively as a TV studio and an accessible public space.  

The first step was eliminating the old metal-halide lights as they were expensive, difficult to maintain and obsolete. New HDTV cameras require upgraded lighting to meet broadcasting standards. With a mere six weeks to develop and install the lighting design, KSLD completed multiple site trials and time-lapse daylight studies to determine that the best solution, and one that would honor Enric Miralles’ original architecture, was a custom suspended luminaire. 

The design integrates suspensions and concealed wiring into the complex ceiling structure. The new LED arrays have custom aluminum extrusion, bespoke precision turning, multi-axis adjustment, acrylic design, stringent output targets, individual controllability, deep dimming, HD broadcast compatibility and an extended lifetime. 

Based on where current members of parliament are seated as well as glazing studies of the windows and considerations of where fixed louvres can be placed, a diagram was created to manage the placement of all the bespoke LED arrays. The layout and heights appear random, but achieve the necessary lighting distribution. 

Lighting is soft and there are supplemental LED spotlights for front fill as needed for broadcasting. The entire system is controlled through DALI controls which saves 60% on energy over the previous scheme. Ultimately KSLD’s unique and beautiful solution creates a more comfortable environment for parliamentarians and a more sustainable design