The Yards, St Martin’s Courtyard, Covent Garden

About theproject

Client: Longmartin Properties Ltd
Year: 2019 & 2020
Location: St Martin's Courtyard, London
Winner 2021: Build Back Better Platinum

St Martin’s Courtyard provides an outdoor space in the centre of hectic London, a quiet corner of the hustle and bustle of Covent Garden, a peaceful oasis to reflect and breath. Studio-29 designed three installations, one at each entrance to St Martin's Courtyard, now re-named The Yards, to entice the public to explore the back streets and discover a new hidden gem.

The first installation was the dynamic colour change scheme to Mercer Street passageway, providing an inviting and safe pathway leading to St Martin’s Courtyard. Inspired by light filtering through a forest canopy, which is a reminiscence of dappling created by foliage onto the forest floor, Studio 29 have designed a scheme where light patterns and shadows create an enchanting, mystical and interactive space for people to discover. The concept consists of backlit flower perforations within three layers of a mirrored ceiling and screen printed acrylic to increase the volume of the space which was originally just a dark concrete soffit. The installation was designed to be an interactive installation utilising red, green and blue light projected through flower petal shapes within a suspended mirrored ceiling creating a winding path of white light. Once the beams of light are broken by walking underneath cyan, magenta and yellow shadows come into play.

The use of the architectural control system allows for a number of different scenes to be set up throughout the day to create a different atmosphere depending on the time of day you visit. To aid in creating a dynamic environment every 5 minutes there is an event light sequence where the red, green and blue perimeter gives a shimmering effect.

The second installation is a dichroic glass canopy that protrudes into Upper St Martin’s Lane. The use of dichroic glass gave several different dimensions of colour, from the colour of the glass itself to the sun passing through from above and at night with artificial light accenting the colours.

The third installation was taking inspiration from Dale Chihuly glass sculptures and the way the coloured glass came to life with light. Larger than life flowers suspended across Slingsby Place were installed to be illuminated during the day capturing the suns rays and projecting light onto the pavement below. Working with the architects Brimelow McSweeney, the backlit flower patterns were used in the new facade cladding and a new Corian terrace was made featuring the same flower patterns.

In addition to the entrances, Studio 29 also designed lighting for the facade and terrace within the courtyard. Lighting was seamlessly integrated into the building fabric accentuating features of the facade from daytime to night-time.