Lighting design helps bring a traditional English feel to this Doha fashion boutique

Alice Temperley doesn’t do things by halves. When the British fashion designer opened her new franchise in the Gate Mall in Doha, she personally hosted a reception that took the form of an ‘English tea party’, and the evening was made complete with a traditional game of croquet, played by models dressed in designs from the latest Temperley London collections.

Ms Temperley’s enthusiasm also extends to the lighting and design of the new shop. The grand chandelier in the middle is an antique luminaire, found by Temperley at Portobello Market in London. The furniture is all bespoke, ditto the wallpaper, and the illustrations on the wall are hand painted.

Such carefully chosen objects deserve to be lit properly, and the company in charge of the shop design – Clements Retail – approached lighting firm Hacel for help.

‘They had opened a store in Dubai that ran successfully, so we were asked to take our cues from that with the use of statement chandeliers, Romanesque columns and mirrors,’ said Stuart Weston, who is in charge of client services at Clements Retail.

The antique chandelier had to be complemented by more flexible, directional ceiling lights.

Antique and modern
‘We designed the visuals and the construction drawings of the lighting, and the scheme was then sent to Hacel so they could interpret their lighting into our design scheme,’ Weston said. ‘We needed the fittings to be able to adjust to lighting certain areas and enhance the clothing. It had to be a crisp, white light as opposed to a yellow light,’ he adds.

Another feature that had to be well lit was the peacock drawings on the wall. ‘The lighting had to pick out the illustrations, which are all hand-drawn by a very talented artist, Frederick Wimsett, who we hired on behalf of Alice Temperley,’ Weston said.

The average illuminance in the waiting area is 1,050 lx, with the changing rooms lit at a slightly higher intensity and the sales area reaching an average of 1,360 lx.

Creating texture
Unlike some lighting applications, where uniformity is desirable, Weston and his team appreciated the variety of lighting effects created by the scheme: ‘There are areas that are beautifully lit and then it goes to an almost faded area, and then it lights up again once you walk through to a different part – it’s sort of shade and light, which works quite well throughout the store.’

The adjustable 70W spot and recessed luminaires were adjusted manually to ensure the light was aimed in the right direction, but they can be managed using a wall-mounted, single control system that controls individual banks of light.

‘The window would be left on until midnight and come on again in the morning, and the last person out would be able to switch off banks individually,’ said Weston. ‘But I think the whole scheme works best with everything on.’

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