Product designer Priestman Goode and lighting designer Speirs and Major Associates have collaborated to create a new street light.
The Sorento (pictured), designed for lighting group DW Windsor, was originally created for use in an urban lighting project in Cambridge, and has been in development for more than three years.
The product, which is set to launch in May, was developed, according to Priestman Goode founder Paul Priestman, in response to the ‘incredible lack’ of lighting products suitable for historic areas.
Speirs and Major founder Mark Major says the Sorento came out of a lighting strategy his consultancy developed for the City of Cambridge in the 1990s, which led to an opportunity to develop a column light.
The ensuing council competition was won by Priestman Goode. Speirs and Major and Priestman Goode had already worked together on Heathrow Terminal 5.
DW Windsor then came on board to produce the Sorento design, and a prototype was installed in Cambridge two years ago.
Following collaborative development between Priestman Goode, Speirs and Major and DW Windsor, the product is now set to launch, and the designers hope it will be specified in Cambridge’s King’s Parade.
Priestman says, ‘When you’re specifying for historical areas, you either get appalling heritage Victoriana, or you get inappropriate modern designs. We wanted to create something in-between.’
Major says, ‘The success of this product is that it works in a historic context. It’s very laidback and feels unpretentious, not pastiche or kitsch.’ He adds, ‘We had built up an aesthetic based on what we knew planners and heritage bodies would accept, and we were conscious of what it takes to insert hi-tech performance sensitively in a historic context.’
A key feature of the light, according to Alan Grant, design and development manager for DW Windsor, is the ‘cold area’ on top, which houses control chips, gear and sensors.
Grant says, ‘The light runs exceptionally coolly, which gives it a very long life. Tooling is under way at the moment, but we expect a gear life in excess of ten years.’
GENESIS OF A STREET LIGHT:
• A competition to develop a light was conducted after Speirs and Major Associates was appointed to look at a lighting strategy for the City of Cambridge
• Priestman Goode’s winning design was developed with Speirs and Major
• DW Windsor came on board to produce the light
• The Sorento will go to market in May