Parliament House Legislative Chambers

In a building steeped in history it was important that the upgraded lighting for the Legislative Council Chambers was sympathetic to the room’s heritage. Described in 1901 as aiming to ‘very favourably impress the beholder’ the hallmark details like the hand stencilled ceilings and the cedar wood panelling had to be highlighted without competing against the sensibility of the room. At the same time good lighting conditions had to be provided for the Legislative Council Members who often sit for long hours into the night.

To achieve both outcomes multiple layers of lighting were introduced to the scheme to provide ultimate flexibility. An initial background layer of indirect light highlights the hand stencilled details of the ceilings whilst giving volume to the space. This was done using Coolon LED strip that the architects cleverly detailed into the top section of the wood panelling, concealing the LED source and enable a soft transition of the light distribution.

A second layer of task light was added after historical images of spherical pendant lights were discovered during the initial research phase. The decision was made to match this style but with new technology. Fagerhult Lighting provided the expertise to deliver a solution using long lifetime LEDs with the uniformity we would expect from a traditional lamp source.

Finally, specific desk mounted task lights were provided for the work spaces and highlights, such as spotlights to the artwork, were added to provide the final layers. This helped fill out an otherwise uniform space and provide subtle visual intertest to the chambers. Given the chamber is predominantly red (in the Westminster tradition), colour rendering of all sources was also an important consideration.

Lighting Design    ASC Engineers
Architect                JAWS Architects
Images                   Terence Ling