Scottish Parliament Building Lighting

» 2009/07/11 by Pierre-Felix Breton | In Selected Projects | | Tags: , , ,

Planning of the broadcast lighting system

Established on the UNESCO World Heritage site at the foot of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, the Scottish Parliament has been completed in 2004.

My involvement with the project consisted into working with the lead lighting designers (OVI, Office for Visual Interaction) on the development of a lighting solution that meets television lighting quality, integrates to the unique architectural space and conforms to the global lighting scheme.

Lighting Analysis

The six committee rooms and the debating chamber where lit with a different lighting layout: each space has a distinct configuration of asymmetric vaulted ceilings, suspension cables, trusses and seating layout.

The location and orientation of the luminaires (800+ total) was determined with a combination of high end analysis tools and custom designed 3d modeling tools (more on this subject in the Autodesk Media and Entertainment 3ds max showcase article – pdf).

Lighting Analysis

The lighting of the debating chamber was a challenge on its own due to its asymmetric vaulted ceiling and visible structural elements.

More than 300 fixtures suspended in clusters are aimed in such a way that broadcast lighting conditions are achieved while no occlusion is happening from the architectural elements.

The lighting system of the committee rooms is mounted into “pockets” carved in the vaulted ceiling.

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Each luminaire has a precise location and orientation calculated to not be occluded by the edges of the “pockets” and also meet television lighting requirements for intensity and angle.


Enric Miralles in collaboration with the Edinburgh practice of RMJM

lighting consultants:

Office for Visual Interaction Inc. (OVI) - Jean M. Sundin, Enrique Peiniger

lighting calculations and aiming planning (broadcast lighting):

Pierre-Félix Breton


Official page of the Scottish Parliament

see also:

Autodesk Media & Entertainment 3ds max showcase article (pdf)

Erco’s Lichtbericht publication excerpt (pdf)

Professional Lighting Design issue #41