Sophies Steakhouse Covent Gardens, London
for kate wilkins lighting designers

The Lighting concept for the Sophie’s Steakhouse venue in Covent Garden is entitled ‘Homage to the Light Bulb’. It is a contemporary, technically sophisticated and low energy interpretation of KWLD’s bare GLS lamp installation created for Sophie’s first restaurant, which opened in Fulham a few years earlier.

The challenges we faced were to ensure that the lighting scheme worked functionally; provided sufficient light on all the tables, created a warm inviting ambience from lunch through to dinner-time and then on to late night socialising. It also had to achieve flattering colours when dimmed, was attractive and inviting to passers-by, and ensure the client’s maintenance requirements and energy-use was kept to a minimum.

To this end we developed a wholly custom designed fibre optic installation (together with the manufacturers Light Projects and Roblon) comprising metal halide projectors with colour correction filters/dimming wheels and specially designed frosted droplets in three sizes.

The rubber-clad fibre optic cables were wrapped around exposed ductwork to deliberately create a style associated with New York warehouse aesthetic. The success of the scheme lies in the beauty of the individual droplets and the careful and artistic composition of the installation, together with the soft flattering colours that emulate the golden tones of dimmed tungsten. The concept was further extended with two large custom chandeliers filled with 2000 non-working GLS lamps of different sizes, and incorporating cracked fibre and fluorescent uplighting. The largest manufactured GLS lamp is suspended like a feature pendant at the entrance.

Bar and Restaurant Design Award 2009 Finalist
Lighting Design Award 2010 Finalist

Project lighting designers. Karen van Creveld & Kate Wilkins
Architect. Michaelis Boyd Associates
Photography. Julian Abrams

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