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Harrods and The City Lights: A Landmark With Unique Considerations

Opened by Charles Henry Harrod, an East End grocer and tea merchant, in 1834, relocating to Knightsbridge in 1849. Harrods is a luxury retail destination, recognised globally as a symbol of excellence. 

We are thrilled to continue our work for Harrods on this project. Our recent work on the Brompton Road façade has involved collaborating with other teams of specialists and utilising our blended services for a 1 Team approach. We have taken on multiple roles including Project Manager, Quantity Surveyor, Architect, Principal Designer, and provided Mechanical & Engineering services. Together, we have been supporting the replacement of outdated festoon lighting, aiming to elevate the building’s stunning features with a new layer of bespoke, architectural lighting.

Special Considerations

A variety of technical aspects had to be considered for this project. Collaborating with specialist manufacturers and suppliers, we faced many unique lighting challenges.

Working within a conservation area, we needed to minimise glare towards the high-profile neighbouring buildings. We worked closely with the supplier to develop a custom stainless-steel L-shaped shroud, designed to seamlessly attach beneath the linear light strip.

Bespoke bracketry arms and shrouds were created to fix lights sympathetically to the Grade 2* listed building. Since some lights could not be fixed onto terracotta sills, and there were so many variations of window designs, arm brackets were designed with horizontal and vertical mounting plates to accommodate different windows. Coordinating this involved extensive spreadsheets to ensure precise specifications.

From Dusk to Dawn

During the initial phase of the project, before it was fully wrapped, we had limited access to the scaffolding before store opening times. The team found themselves in London at the crack of dawn on some occasions, witnessing the morning calm before the city started buzzing with activity.

A significant portion of the lighting used in this project is bespoke, which meant that extensive lighting trials were needed to ensure the practicality of the initial designs. These trials often took place during the late hours of the night to assess the impact of the lights on the street scape. One of our Architectural Technologist’s, Alice Hulbert, even worked until 4 AM on one occasion, collaborating with other consultants. She described this as a ‘fascinating experience’, witnessing the intricate workings and variety of lighting options.

Building Relationships

It has been an incredible experience to be part of the restoration project at Harrods.

The project has been a true collaborative effort, blending expertise from a team of specialists, alongside our 1 Team service. It truly takes an army to restore the beauty of such an iconic establishment.