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Johnnie Walker Princes Street Receives 2023 IES Lighting Control Innovation Award of Merit

September 21, 2023

The building exterior is lit from linear grazers hidden away behind shields painted to match the stonework.
This month, the LCA explore a detailed networked lighting control solution installed at Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh, Scotland. Lighting control design by BRC Imagination Arts.

Set within an Edinburgh landmark transformed, offering eight floors filled with breathtaking experiences, bars, event spaces, and views across the capital, Johnnie Walker Princes Street stands at the heart of Diageo’s £185 million investment in whisky tourism in Scotland.

The lighting design contained full lighting of the building’s exterior, all circulation lighting, a six-story multimedia and lighting atrium sculpture, the main tour experience which spans three floors and includes four separate shows and two tasting experiences, and two roof bars.

Two main anchors guided all lighting design decisions. First, the lighting design reflects Johnnie Walker’s visual identity, pulling from the brand’s bold use of color. Second, to keep the lighting from interfering with the visual storytelling, every item in the building honestly emits light. Fixtures are fully integrated into the architecture and millwork, either tucked away from guests so only the light, not the fixture, is perceived, or the fixtures are fully decorative and integral to an experience.

The lighting design and control systems required four different control systems all networked together to meet the task of creating a fluid luminous environment that blends tradition circulation lighting with immersive storytelling and intimate dining experiences. The system is comprised of over 200 different fixture types and a total of 4500 fixtures throughout the building. There are also over 3500 linear meters of LED product.

The main tour experience required over 1000 individual lighting cues. Every individual lighting state are triggered by show control and time code to be in sync with the rest of the audio-visual systems. Finally, the team used various control systems and occupancy sensors to maximize energy efficiency of the lighting devices and to adjust the level of lighting in building to reflect the time of day.

A six story video & lighting sculpture. Two control systems are used to flow content across video and lighting surfaces creating one experience.
The history of the Walker family told utilizing projection and automated lighting that follows the ambassador across the stage. 400 cues make up this show.
This traditional room transforms itself using light and video to a storytelling immersive environment. Theatrical design physicalizes the idea that whisky is not old fashioned.
Guests taste whisky in a re-creation of Johnnie Walker’s original grocery. Every lighting element has separate control to allow for subtle storytelling.
270-degree projection and lighting track across the wall to illustrate the creation of whisky. Props illuminate elements of flavor and environmental light flows with content.
An ambassador guides guests through the steps of whisky creation as lighting and projection blend together to illustrate each nuance.
138 individual niches of single malt surround the guests. Using the blending of musical elements, the show rhythmically explores three different blends of scotch.
With each beat of storytelling and music lighting, this room rhythmically changes to echo the content. 500 lighting cues are synced with show moments.
One of two bars. Its vortex of wood and light anchors the space. Commissioned artwork is on the walls and glowing whisky is the star.

The Lighting Control Innovation Award was created in 2011 as part of the Illuminating Engineering Society’s Illumination Awards program, which recognizes professionalism, ingenuity and originality in lighting design. LCA is proud to sponsor the Lighting Control Innovation Award, which recognizes projects that exemplify the effective use of lighting controls.

More information available here

Published with the permission of the Lighting Controls Association

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