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Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast
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Pinsent Masons, Belfast

International law firm Pinsent Masons recently opened a new office in the prestigious “The Soloist” building in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The lighting concept is based on a variety of ERCO luminaires to meet the complex requirements of a modern office environment.

Pinsent Masons is a fixture in the UK business world. Headquartered in London and operating a network of offices in the UK and across the world, the corporate law firm employs more than 2,700 staff. With a history dating back as far as 1769, the firm grew to its current size through a number of mergers over the past twenty years. Its latest office in Northern Ireland is accommodated in one of the most noted office buildings in Belfast – “The Soloist”.

Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast
Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast

“The Soloist” – a building with national symbol character
The completion of “The Soloist” was important as a symbol for overcoming the economic crisis in Northern Ireland between 2007 and 2013. The office building in the centre of Belfast opened in the summer of 2014 after constructions had been halted as a result of the economic situation. The design was masterminded by Norwegian architect Niels Torp collaborating in Belfast with WDR & RT Taggart Architects. AEM Ltd. were contracted to carry out the electrical installations. “The Soloist” derives its name from an idea by Torp to symbolise the new building and other structures around the Lanyon Square as players in an imaginary orchestra. Interpreting the nearby Belfast Waterfront conference and concert hall as the conductor, Torp was keen to pair it up with an exquisite soloist. He formally designed “The Soloist” as a bipartite structure: a full height glazed atrium connects the two sections, thereby producing striking sight lines onto the street. The interior, as a result, offers an open, airy and light-filled ambiance.

Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast
Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast
Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast
Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast

Detailed lighting concept
Pinsent Masons assigned the interior design of the “The Soloist” to local firm Todd Architects. The lighting was devised by Semple McKillop, another Belfast resident. The architects and designers were primarily concerned with ensuring optimal visual comfort at all times of the day for the employees of Pinsent Masons. ERCO luminaires are used throughout the building, from the reception area and the circulation zones to the offices and conference rooms, and even in the kitchenette and bathrooms. "We were particularly impressed by one of ERCO's strong points: compact downlights – an aesthetic and economical alternative to linear and other fluorescent lamps,” Pinsent Masons emphasises. The lighting concept, which considered each room situation specifically, uses luminaires from the Quintessence, , Quadra, Compact and Nadir ranges. A narrow corridor between the kitchenette and a number of workstations, for instance, appears wider thanks to Quintessence lens wallwashers and their uniform washlighting across one of the walls in the corridor.

Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast
Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast

Welcoming and distinguished reception area
The reception area was to be the designed as the firm’s showpiece, indicating its expertise and communicating integrity and reliability. “The lighting concept, in our view, is ideal to create a striking appearance that enhances the business culture for both the team and the visitors,” Pinsent Masons explains. To this end, the designers opted for a warm white light colour in order to produce a welcoming ambiance. Quintessence wallwashers set off the delicate grain of the wood-panelled wall. Cylinder surface-mounted downlights break up the expanse of the ceiling. In their minimalist design, the effective lighting tools unobtrusively recede into the background. The reception connects to a waiting area with columns which are illuminated from below using Nadir recessed floor luminaires, thereby producing a more dynamic, three-dimensional look of the room.

Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast
Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast

High-quality office equipment for concentrated working
The workstations are illuminated using neutral white light, which has proved more pleasant and easier on the eyes when working at computers. “The zonal lighting for workstations, shelving and conference tables creates a more diversified and attractive working environment,” Pinsent Masons confirms. For concentrated work in the relevant areas, Quadra recessed luminaires provide glare-free ambient lighting. Compact downlights produce attractive lighting accents on individual elements in the room, such as columns or book shelves, thereby underlining the character of the architecture. The conference and meeting rooms are separated from the office section by glass walls. The primary concern here was to prevent reflection on these glass surfaces. Quintessence recessed luminaires with oval characteristic can be adjusted precisely to illuminate specifically the circulation area in front of the rooms and therefore offered the ideal solution.

Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast
Pinsent Masons law firm, Belfast