Client: Solent Interior Systems.
Site: Southampton Football Club, the new Markus Liebherr Lounge:
Scope of works: To refurbish the existing Matt Le Tissier function suite to be the new Markus Liebherr Lounge. To modernize the look and feel of the suite to Premiership expectations.
Duration of works: (from design conception to hand over): Strictly 4 weeks, to be ready for the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup.
Description: The existing Function Suite had it’s original fit out when the St. Mary’s Stadium was originally built, in July 2001 and was starting to look dated. Southampton Football Club’s Chairman, Mr. Nicola Cortese wanted to reflect the modern outlook of the company, produce a suite worthy of the Premiership and most importantly to provide a fitting tribute to Markus Liebherr.
To keep the project tight timescale on course and to keep the costs within budget, it was decided to keep the existing air conditioning, and to merely raise the height of the new ceiling (together with the associated AC cassettes), to produce a greater feeling of space. This was further enhanced, by enlarging the windows, now to be floor to ceiling, so the suite would be flooded with natural light (allowing the Suite to be used in the daytime, without the previously essential artificial lighting).
Throughout the design process, we had to maintain the flexibility of the Suite, as it could be used for any of the following uses:
Match day Function Suite.
All of which could be used by Southampton Football Club or hired out as a venue to Corporate or Private clients alike.
We determined there needed to be three distinct lighting schemes in place, to maintain flexibility:
Conference use: (Scheme 1): The lighting, although not necessary of ‘office type or design’ needed to produce around 350 – 400 Lux, so any paperwork, signage, displays and documentation could be easily viewed. There was also a need for a light fitting that would suit a suspended grid ceiling (and fit within a 600 x 600mm tile) as well as a plasterboard MF ceiling.
The chosen fitting design would also have to suit the arcs mirrored throughout the interior design.
The client had initially commented upon the fact that due to various speakers, lights, smoke detectors, ventilation grills, cameras and sensors there was hardly any ceiling space was viewable.
The old light fittings were compact fluorescent down-lighters, and even though these could have simply been replaced with similar, it was felt if we could choose a light with a greater output, we could reduce the quantity of light fittings, and hence keep the ‘ceiling rash’ to a minimum.
The light chosen would have to be available in a long life, low energy version, to keep the ongoing maintenance and consumption costs to a minimum. Large output LED lights were ruled out due to their comparably high capital expense.
Fitting used: Hacel Tegere T5 HF circular 55-watt fluorescent.
Evening use: (Scheme 2): It was decided to install merely low voltage spotlights upon dimmer controls, as the light levels required would be much lower.
Corporate use: (Scheme 3, feature lighting): We needed to design lighting that would enhance the feel of the room, and transform it from its old image.
We proposed DMX controlled LED lighting around the custom designed ceiling features, to create ‘floating ceiling sections’. The colour of the LED lighting can be controlled, set to a specific colour, (e.g. maybe the visiting company’s logo colour), or programmed to follow a number of simple colour change routines (e.g. a smooth scroll through the rainbow).
The Chairman wanted the suite to look impressive from the outside of the building also, so we continued this theme from the ceiling, to the window pelmets. The colour set/ chosen would be identical throughout the suite, to keep a quality corporate feel, rather than produce a disco light feel.
The old CRT type of Televisions were replaced with new LED Commercial Screens, custom inset into new partition walls (one feature curved wall to screen the bar, and one built the entire length of the suite, just to make the screens have a streamlined finish), all controlled from a new Crestron Control System.
These are the results: