The Technological Edge

IBM - Level 28, Southbank Office


Inspired to make the impossible possible, IBM has become one of the leading cloud platform and cognitive computing companies in the world. This determination to solve real-life problems has seen IBM consistently defining tomorrow’s technology for many industries.

It’s this philosophy that inspired Design Director at NDYLIGHT, Steve Brown, and architect Dan Mathias from Davenport Campbell while designing the Level 28 fit out in IBM’s Southbank office.

“IBM wanted to do something different, with a technology edge,” Steve tells us.

As you enter the fit out, you’ll find large backlit Barisol panels on the ceiling. Each of these panels has 2700K and 6500K LED strip light cross-mixed in order to create an illusion of the variations in colour temperature that occurs naturally during the day.

“This creates the visual impression that daylight is filtering through,” Steve says “although this is, in fact, impossible as there are other floors above.”

Working collaboratively with IBM, it was proposed that this concept was carried through onto Level 28 by incorporating tuneable white boards into the lighting design. Just like the strip lighting in the lobby downstairs, the technology in these boards can be programmed via a DALI interface to slowly transition in colour temperature during the day.  This has been shown to positively impact circadian rhythms, and increase wellbeing and productivity as a result.

Fulfilling this vision, however, was particularly challenging when it came to the suspended curved extrusion that the team proposed to weave through the secondary meeting rooms.

Until recently, such seamlessly serpentine task lighting technology was believed to be impossible, and you could forget about incorporating tuneable white. But, embodying the entrepreneurial spirit of IBM, mLight’s beautifully curved Swerve LED has made this vision a reality.

“It was one of those things that, once the scheme was presented, everyone said ‘yes – that’s it!’ and away we went.” Steve shares.

Throughout Level 28, mLight’s Swerve LED is accompanied by lengths of the Kleo and Advance with tuneable white boards, complementing the curvy extrusion with broken straight lines, and pops of the IBM blue.

We’ve enjoyed creating such a unique statement piece with NDYLIGHT and architect Dan Mathias from Davenport Campbell, and we look forward to collaborating with them on future projects.

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